Virginia Apgar, Honored by Today's Google Doodle, Saved Countless Lives

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But the Apgar score system developed by her is still used to quickly assess the health of newborns.

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

The Google Doodle honoured the pioneering USA clinician who is known for developing the "Apgar score".

In 1952, she created a life-saving test. She devised a test for evaluating the health of newborns, focusing on five factors with the helpful mnemonic device of the first letters of each factor spelling her last name: appearance, pulse, grimace, activity, and respiration.

Her family was devoted to music, but she dedicated her life to lowering the USA's infant mortality rate. She left school knowing that she wanted to be a doctor, and initially studied zoology, chemistry and physiology.

But she could barely spend two years into her surgery residency as the then Chair of Surgery at the institution persuaded her to switch to anaesthesia, an uncalled-for move that Columbia University termed "a reflection of the times".

She eventually became a leading figure in the fields of anaesthesiology and teratology.

As an anesthesiologist, she attended close to 20,000 births. "A Guide to Birth Defects" published in collaboration with Joan Beck.

Apgar never married, and died of cirrhosis of the liver at the age of 65.

"Nobody, but nobody, is going to stop breathing on me!" . She entered the field at a time when America had too few women medical practitioners. She was only one of nine women in the class of 1933.

"Five points-heart rate, respiratory effort, muscle tone, reflex response, and color-are observed and given 0, 1, or 2 points".

The doctor developed a newborn infant's neonatal prognosis, known as the Apgar Score, which is taken within minutes of birth and has become standard practice in hospitals worldwide.

"They said they were looking for someone with enthusiasm, who liked to travel and talk". She was raised in Westfield, New Jersey in the United States. Virginia Apgar was an American obstetrical anesthetist, best known as the inventor of the Apgar score.

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