Google Doodle pays homage to baby-saving doctor Virginia Apgar

Virginia Apgar would have been 101 on Thursday

The American anesthesiologist would have been celebrating her 109th birthday.

Dr Apgar is further known for her contribution in the fields of anaesthesiology and teratology, study of abnormal psychological development in newborns, etc.

The Apgar in the Apgar Score is an acronym for Appearance, Pulse, Grimace, Activity, and Respiratory effort. The test is carried out within five minutes of birth and it takes about a minute to judge if the infant needs any immediate medical attention. National Library of Medicine. The scores help doctors identify whether a baby has health issues requiring extra care.

"Compiled scores for each newborn can range between 0 and 10, with 10 being the best possible condition for a newborn".

The Apgar score contributed immensely towards reducing infant mortality.

The Apgar Score's name is not just that of its creator - each letter refers to a part of the test. She noticed that the number of infant deaths within the first 24 hours remained high, despite the fact that overall the US infant mortality rate was decreasing. But the Apgar score system developed by her is still used to quickly assess the health of newborns.

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Apgar was able to link the scores to infant mortality, proving that her test could really make a difference. She was born on June 7, 1909.

Apgar was the youngest of three children. She left Columbia, got a master's degree in public health from Johns Hopkins University, and began her work on genetics.

And she was a trailblazer in more ways than one: She was one of four women accepted into Columbia's medical school in 1929, and, while she was initially interested in pursuing a surgical residency, the chair of surgery at Columbia discouraged her from pursuing that field, and encouraged her to enter anesthesiology instead.

Google's Doodle today honors a Mount Holyoke College graduate - Dr. Virginia Apgar. On August 7, 1974, she died of cirrhosis of the liver at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center. The hospital opened a new division of anaesthesia at that time and Apgar became its first Director. In 1949, she moved onto neonatal medicine, where she began to dedicate herself to saving the lives of babies.

A United States postage stamp carrying her portrait was also released after her death.

She worked nearly up until her death at the age of 64.

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