The Apgar score

University of Greifswald, Griefswald, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany
PEDIATRICS (Impact Factor: 5.47). 10/2006; 118(3):1314-5; author reply 1315-6. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2006-1254
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: The Apgar score should be an objective method to assess the state of newborns; however, its applicability in preterm infants is hampered by large variations among different observers. The study tested whether physicians that give low scores to written case descriptions also apply lower scores to preterm infants. Descriptions (BMJ 2004; 329: 143-4) were sent to 14 neonatal units. Physicians were asked to evaluate the Apgar (case score). From seven units Apgar scores of all very low birth weight infants (VLBW) born between January 2004 and December 2006 were obtained from charts (clinical score). In total, 121 physicians from 14 institutions (median 9, range 3-15) replied: 24 residents with <6-month and 28 with >6-month neonatal experience, and 69 consultants. The assessment of the case scores was very heterogeneous with large variations in respiration, muscle tone and reflexes. Clinical scores were obtained from 1000 VLBW infants. The score depended on the gestational age, with a median of 4 at 24 and 7 at 27 weeks. With one exception, centres that assigned low case scores had also low clinical scores. There is considerable variation in assigning Apgar scores. Definitions are required to apply the Apgar score to infants under clinical conditions such as preterm delivery, resuscitation or artificial ventilation.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2009 · Acta Paediatrica
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate the relationship between low Apgar score and neonatal mortality in preterm neonates. Infant birth and death certificate data from the US National Center for Health Statistics for 2001-2002 were analysed. Primary outcome was 28-day mortality for 690, 933 neonates at gestational ages 24-36 weeks. Mortality rates were calculated for each combination of gestational age and 5-min Apgar score. Relative risks of mortality, by high vs. low Apgar score, were calculated for each age. Distribution of Apgar scores depended on gestational age, the youngest gestational ages having higher proportions of low Apgar scores. Median Apgar score ranged from 6 at 24 weeks, to 9 at 30-36 weeks gestation. The relative risk of death was significantly higher at Apgar scores 0-3 vs. 7-10, including at the youngest gestational ages, ranging from 3.1 (95% confidence interval 2.9, 3.4) at 24 weeks to 18.5 (95% confidence interval 15.7, 21.8) at 28 weeks.   Low Apgar score was associated with increased mortality in premature neonates, including those at 24-28 weeks gestational age, and may be a useful tool for clinicians in assessing prognosis and for researchers as a risk prediction variable.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2010 · Acta Paediatrica
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    ABSTRACT: The paper discusses the reliability of the Apgar score for evaluating newborns, particularly its usefulness in assessing the state of preterm or full term newborns born with hypoxia. The paper provides a sum-up of the opinions on usefulness and reliability of the Apgar score given by doctors from 255 NICUs. Data for the analysis were gathered by means of a questionnaire opinion poll sent to 158 primary referral centers, 71 secondary referral centers and 26 tertiary referral centers. Respondents answered questions about value of the Apgar score assessment (highly valuable, limited value, always reliable), as well as overrating and underrating children born in good overall condition and children born with clinical and biochemical indicators of hypoxia. In the group of prematurely born babies, the data concerning newborns with very low (VLBW) and extremely low birth weight (ELBW) were analyzed separately 88.5% neonatologists claimed the use of the Apgar score in assessing newborn condition to be of little value and only 11.5% found this indicator useful and reliable. According to the majority of Polish neonatologists, Apgar score is not reliable in the assessment of term and preterm hypoxic newborns.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2011 · Ginekologia polska
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