Did you know that Virginia Apgar was born today in 1909? She was a doctor who researched how to improve the health of newborn babies and developed the Apgar Score. The Apgar Score helps doctors evaluate the health of a newborn baby and to decide if the baby needs immediate medical assistance. Aside from teaching at prestigious universities, Virginia Apgar also travelled thousands of miles each year to teach doctors and women ways to prevent birth defects and improve the wellbeing and health of mothers and their babies.
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Virginia Apgar was a leader in the study of anesthesiology and teratology. Teratology is the study of abnormalities of physical development. This can include congenital abnormalities or birth defects, or abnormalities that occur later in life. It also includes studying substances or environmental factors that might cause these abnormalities.
Virginia Apgar was the director of the anesthesiology division at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. She also worked at Sloane Hospital for Women, and Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and Hygiene. She received many honorary degrees and awards for her research and work.
Virginia Apgar also worked for the March of Dimes.
The APGAR score checks the skin color, pulse rate, reflexes, activity level, and respiratory effort of a newborn. A newborn is checked one and five minutes after the are born. Another way of remembering these topics is Appearance, Pulse Rate, Grimace, Activity, and Respiration.