Newborn Baby Care: APGAR Test
The Apgar score refers to a test that is given to your baby in the delivery room as soon as he is born. It is a quick appraisal of the condition of your baby and is used by health-care providers to determine if your baby needs more careful observation or emergency medical care.
The test is given at one minute after birth and again at five minutes. It measures heart rate, breathing rate and effort, skin color, muscle tone, and response to stimulation. Possible scores range from 0 to 10, with 10 being the highest. The test is a diagnostic tool, not an indication of your baby's long-term health outlook. A baby may score five or a six at one minute and improve to a seven at five minutes.
Infants who score seven or above are in good condition, but a lower score does not mean that the baby is abnormal; it may mean that extra newborn baby care needs to be given, oxygen for example. Many babies that are from high risk pregnancies, Cesarean sections, or difficult deliveries have low APGAR scores and go on to develop into healthy babies.
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