Quotes From Dr. Virginia Apgar, Creator of Apgar Scale

Grant Boone
June 8, 2018

Born to a musical family, the music had so much to do with her as she had to do with it. Apgra played violin and travelled with her instrument as much as she could.

Google has created a Doodle that shows Dr Virginia Apgar observing newborns and taking notes on a notepad.

Apgar was encouraged to study anesthesiology and became interested in the field of obstetrical anesthesia where she would make her greatest contributions. "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".

She chose to enter the world of medicine after her elder brother died of tuberculosis.

Dr Apgar graduated from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1933 and became the first women to head a speciality division at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Whipple felt the scientific discipline needed advancing and she had the "energy and ability" to help it. Her research work is believed to have resulted in the decrease of infant mortality level rates in the first 24 hours after childbirth.

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Apgar, who was born in 1909 in Westfield, New Jersey, developed the now ubiquitous Apgar score in 1952.

By the 1960s the technique was the main shorthand for recording a child's health. She was also the first woman to head a division at the Presbyterian Hospital in NY. Apgar has published over 60 medical articles, and co-wrote the bestseller "Is My Baby All Right?" with Joan Beck. In her later years, she worked for March of Dimes, a non-profit founded by President Franklin Roosevelt that initially targeted polio but went on to focus on the prevention of birth defects.

But she maintained a variety of interests throughout her busy career.

She trained in anesthesia at the University of Wisconsin and Bellevue Hospital in the USA, but returned to Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital in 1938.

These included fishing, stamp collecting and flying lessons in her fifties.

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