Google Doodle honours pioneering clinician Virginia Apgar

Google Doodle honours pioneering clinician Virginia Apgar

Apgar was the first woman to become a full professor at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

After noticing that infants were still dying between the 1930's and the 1940's 24 hours after they leave the hospital, Apgar developed a system that will evaluate the health of newborn infants.

Dr. Virigina Apgar, the woman who created the Apgar score, would have been 109 years old today.

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

She then trained at the nation's first department of anesthesia at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and interned at Bellevue Hospital in NY.

The Apgar Score is what's known as a "backronym" - the words were only chosen after the Dr. Apgar's test had gone into practice in 1952, in order to help people remember the elements of the test.

Dr. Apgar, born in 1909, came up with the system in 1952 and it has been used in almost every hospital since.

After graduating from Mount Holyoke College in 1929, she attended Colombia University College Of Physicians and Surgeons and graduated in 1933.


This widely used technique gives every newborn a score of 0, 1 or 2, with 2 meaning that the baby is in optimal condition, for appearance, pulse, grimace, activity and respiration (APGAR). Before she turned 30, she had founded the Division of Anesthesia at Columbia University.

A baby is scored one minute after birth with additional measurements being made at five minute intervals if the infant's condition did not improve.

After leaving Columbia in the late 1950s she devoted the rest of her life to prevent birth defects as a director at the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis.

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.

Virginia also published over 60 scientific articles and became well-known in the study of birth defects - teratology. Born and raised in Westfield, New Jersey to a musical family, she was the youngest of the three children.

She died on 7 August, 1974 because of a liver failure, a disease also called as cirrhosis.

Apger won man many awards for her contribution in the fields of medicine and science and was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame, in NY in 1995.

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