Google Doodle pays homage to baby-saving doctor Virginia Apgar

Modesto Morganelli
Giugno 8, 2018

Dr Apgar was born on June 7, 1909 and was raised in Westfield, New Jersey, US. Her method of rating babies helped lower infant mortalityrates and still saves lives today.

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

The Apgar Score checks a few of the basic functions of the body, such as heart rate, respiration, colour, muscle tone, reflex irritability and provides a score within minutes, so that a proper steps can be taken to save the life of a child. However, the number of infant deaths within the first 24 hours after birth stayed constant.

Depending on the observed condition, each category is scored with 0, 1, or 2. They examine the newborns one minute after birth and then again five minutes after birth.

Dr Virginia Apgar's interest in treatment of newborns led her to develop a system for evaluating the health of newborn infants. She lost her elder sibling to tuberculosis, and seeing her brother suffering from childhood illness made Apgar choose medicine. In 1949, she became the first woman to be named a full professor at the medical school she attended, Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons, in New York City.

Dr Apgar was persuaded to go into anesthesiology by P&S Chairman Dr Allen Whipple. Countries across the world were quick to adopt the test and the Apgar Score is being used even today by obstetricians.

Dr Virginia Apgar developed the score in 1952 to quantify the effect of obstetric anaesthesia on babies.

The doctor travelled widely and gave lectures across the US. Apgar concentrated on maternal anesthesia practices and is considered the pioneer in teratology, the study of birth defects.

Thursday's Google Doodle appeared for internet users in the United States, as well as Japan, India, Israel, Chile, Argentina, Australia and several European nations. In 1995, she was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame, and in 1973, she co-authored the landmark book Is My Baby All Right? On August 7, 1974, she died of cirrhosis of the liver at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center.

Apart from music, she nurtured her garden and also enjoyed collecting stamps.

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