What does the Apgar score mean?

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Peter DeYoung, MD
Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine
An Apgar score is a score card that determines the baby's health after a certain amount of time following birth, says Peter DeYoung, MD, with Methodist Stone Oak Hospital. Learn more in this video.

The APGAR score is a numerical method to evaluate the infant's transition to extrauterine life.  In general newborns with an APGAR score of less than 7 need assistance in making a successful transition. The acronym APGAR represents the five parameters assessed:

  • Appearance
  • Pulse (heart rate)
  • Grimace
  • Activity
  • Respirations