Google Doodle honors Mount Holyoke's Virginia Apgar

Dr Virginia Apgar discovered the Apgar score for determining newborn's health immediately after birth

Google is celebrating the 109th birth anniversary of American anaesthesiologist Dr Virginia Apgar, who is credited for creating the ' Apgar Score' that determines the health of a newborn baby.

Virginia Apgar is the subject of the Google home page's latest Doodle.

The animated doodle for Thursday June 7 shows a woman in lab coat documenting the movements of a newborn positioned atop the words "Apgar".

As Google explains, Apgar's "presence can still be felt in delivery rooms across the globe".

The Apgar test is performed on a baby at 1 and 5 minutes after birth.

Aside from the Apgar Score, she also accomplished numerous feats throughout her career.

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The Apgar in the Apgar Score is an acronym for Appearance, Pulse, Grimace, Activity, and Respiratory effort. The test is easy to remember. "The scores were to be given to a newborn one minute after birth, and additional scores could be given in five-minute increments to guide treatment if the newborn's condition did not sufficiently improve".

Each of these categories in Dr. Apgar's test earns the baby between zero and two points, depending on the health of the response.

The APGAR test soon spread in America and around the world. After some initial resistance, the testing method became widely used throughout the world and is still used today.

Apgar's life included many other successes. Instead she became an anesthesiologist, eventually becoming director of Columbia University's department of anesthesia. She is known for her work in the fields of anaesthesiology and teratology, a field related to anesthesia (loss of sensation), anesthetics and the study of abnormalities of psychological development in newly-born babies babies.

Dr Virginia Apgar was born in New Jersey in 1909, and always had a keen interest in Science.

She trained in anesthesia at the University of Wisconsin and Bellevue Hospital in the U.S., but returned to Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital in 1938. She didn't believe that being a woman had impacted her career, according to her National Institutes of Health profile, but sometimes privately expressed frustrations with gender inequality.


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