Your premature baby's APGAR score

Once your baby is stabilised, the healthcare team will give him a thorough physical examination to confirm his gestational age and identify of any potential problems.

The Apgar score, the very first test given to a new born was designed to quickly evaluate a new born's physical condition and to see if there's an immediate need for extra medical or emergency care.

It is named after the anaesthesiologist  who first introduced it, Virginia Apgar, but is also might hear it referred to as an acronym for: Appearance, Pulse, Grimace, Activity, and Respiration.

Your new born will get an Apgar score between zero and ten to assess his health. The system gives your baby a score of zero, one or two in five areas:

  • heart rate
  • breathing
  • muscle tone
  • reflex (crying or moving away in response to stimulation)
  • skin colour.

The total figure is added up to provide a maximum score of ten, although babies seldom get the top score.