The Apgar Score

A recent statement by the AAP and ACOG emphasizes the following about the Apgar score:

  • It does not predict mortality or neurologic outcome in an individual infant.
  • It alone should not be used to diagnose asphyxia – it is not evidence of, or a cosequence of asphyxia.
  • It has several limitations and can be influenced by maternal sedation or anesthesia, congenital malformations, gestational age, trauma, and interobserver variability.
  • It should not be used to guide resuscitation.
  • It may be useful, if the score is zero beyond 10¬†minutes of age,¬†in determining whether continued resuscitative efforts are indicated.
  • If it is less than 7 at 5 minutes, it should be repeated every five minutes for up to 20 minutes.
  • It should be documented in a newly suggested ‘Apgar score report form’ in infants requiring resuscitation (because many of the elements contributing to the score are altered by resuscitation).

The Apgar Score. AAP and ACOG 2015.