Monday, 10 December, 2018

Google Doodle honours Virginia Apgar, the doctor who saved countless newborns

The Apgar score helps doctor determine the health of newborn properly The Apgar score helps doctor determine the health of newborn properly
Johnnie Parks | 08 June, 2018, 23:55

Even before she developed the Apgar Score, Dr. Apgar had already become the first female full professor at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

In 1950s, the U.S. infant mortality rate decreased, but the number of infant deaths within the first 24 hours remained high.

Dr Virginia Apgar is famously known for the invention of Apgar score, which was a way to quickly assess the health of newborn children immediately after birth. It is still widely used today.

"Apgar Score is a quick test performed on a baby at 1 and 5 minutes after birth".

Virginia created the Apgar score which, amongst her very impressive body of work, is what she is best known for today.

Virginia Apgar is the subject of the Google home page's latest Doodle.

After training under Dr. Ernest Rovenstine in New York, Virginia became a fully-fledged anesthesiologist in 1927 and went back to P&S to become the director of a new division of anesthesia for 10 years.

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It wasn't until she invented the Apgar score that she began to earn the recognition that she deserved, but she didn't stop there.

Apgar was born on June 7, 1909 in Westfield, N.J., and died August 7, 1974. The scoring system, which has since saved countless babies, evaluates newborns' health on five factors: heart rate, respiration, skin color, muscle tone, and reflexes. The test is given within the first five minutes after birth and helps doctors determine which infants need medical care.

But Whipple also recognized that Apgar's skill could further the field of anesthesia, and she spent a year training in it after completing her surgical residency in 1937.

Thursday's Google Doodle appeared for internet users in the United States, as well as Japan, India, Israel, Chile, Argentina, Australia and several European nations.

They were from the Women's Medical College of Pennsylvania, Mount Holyoke college and the New Jersey College of Medicine and Dentistry.

A score of 7 and above is what the doctor would be hoping for and regard as normal, with 4 to 6 being quite low.

She also co-wrote the 1972 book "Is My Baby All Right?" which explained the causes and treatment of common birth defects. "A Guide to Birth Defects" published in collaboration with Joan Beck. She died in 1974 at the age of 65.

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