Google Doodle on Thursday is celebrating the birthday of anesthesiologist Virginia Apgar. Virginia Apgar is known as one of the leading figures in the field of anaesthesiology and teratology. Virginia is widely known as the the individual who invented the Apgar Score, a way to quickly assess the health of newborn children immediately after birth. Apgar whose invention has become a standard practice in hospitals worldwide was born on June 7, 1909 as the youngest of three children to a musical family in Westfield, New Jersey. Since childhood Apgar had a keen interest in the science subject and she was always sure of becoming a doctor in the future.
Apgar before attending Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons studied zoology, chemistry and physiology. At Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons where she was discouraged of following the field of surgery and was instead asked to join anaesthesiology. Apgar after completing a residency in surgery in 1937, went on to acquire certification as an anesthesiologist in the same year from Bellevue Hospital in New York.
Apgar who was disturbed by the treatment meted out to newborn babies who were deformed or had trouble breathing, soon discovered infants who were blue or were struggling to breathe were listed as stillborn and left to die. It drove her to develop a score which scores newborn child between zero to ten on the basis of its health.
Soon, medical practitioners found out that a malformed child or a child with difficulty in breathing could be revived through oxygen, if attended within five minutes of being born. The score identifies five criterias- Appearance, Pulse, Grimace, Activity, Respiration. The doodle shows Apgar and a baby in the centre. On playing the video the baby is seen giving different expressions resembling the score which Apgar notes on a pad.
Apgar’s invention has revolutionised child mortality rate from 1 in 30 in the 1950s to 1 in 500 today.