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What Is a Normal Apgar Score?

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The apgar score system is a way for health care providers to make a fairly quick assessment of the condition of a newborn baby. It also allows for the assessment of the newborn's response to resuscitation, if needed. Anything less than a normal apgar score might indicate the need for neonatal resuscitation.

Five things (areas) are checked using this system: appearance, pulse, irritability, activity/muscle tone, and the newborn's respirations. Each area is assigned a number: 0, 1, or 2, based on the findings. Let's take a brief look at the areas of this scoring system:

Appearance


The newborn is pink (fair-skinned) all over - 2
The body is pink, but the hands and feet are blue - 1
The newborn is blue or pale all over - 0

Pulse


Greater than 100 beats per minute - 2
Less than 100 beats per minute - 1
No pulse - 0

Irritability


The newborn cries and wiggles - 2
Cry is feeble even in response to stimulus - 1
Does not cry or respond to stimulus - 0

Muscle Tone/Movement


Newborn fights against stimulus - 2
Fights weakly against stimulus - 1
Totally limp body - 0

Respirations


Newborn breathes rapidly - 2
Breathes slowly - 1
No respirations - 0

A normal apgar score is 7 or 8 when a newborn is assessed using this system one minute after birth. This score should rise to between 8 and 10 when scoring is repeated five minutes later. Let's say that a newborn who is "five minutes old" is pink all over, has a pulse of 160 beats per minute, cries and moves, presents a strong resistance to stimulus, and is breathing rapidly. He gets two points for being pink, two for having a pulse greater than 100 beats per minute, two for crying and moving, two for resisting stimulus, and two for breathing rapidly. His apgar score is 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 = 10.

Christian Food for Thought


Things of the natural world are shadows of things of the spiritual world. Just as a newborn baby is a new being, a new believer in Jesus is a spiritual newborn in the Lord. Jesus said, "...Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God" (St. John 3:3-5).

Salvation is not attained by attending church regularly, reading the Bible, doing good works, or anything else. It is attained by being born again through repentance and obedience to Christ.

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