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APGAR Score Calculator

Created by Kacper Pawlik, MD
Reviewed by Bogna Szyk and Adena Benn
Last updated: May 16, 2024

With the APGAR score calculator, you will be able to summarize the condition of an infant soon after birth or assess its response to resuscitation. To achieve this, we will use the world-renowned APGAR scale. The baby can score between 0 and 10 points, and the more points it gets, the better its well-being is. In the text below, you will learn the definition of the APGAR score, what APGAR stands for (as an acronym), and how to calculate the APGAR score.

Do you have your own child? Are you, by any chance, a pediatrician? We have other pediatric calculators for you! Check our pediatric GFR calculator and the pediatric blood volume calculator.

Remember that using this calculator is by no means equivalent to a consultation with a specialist. If the result you obtained is troubling you, be sure to visit your physician!

What is APGAR score?

APGAR score was invented in 1952 by Dr. Virginia Apgar, an anesthesiologist at New York–Presbyterian Hospital, as a tool to rapidly assess the health status of newborn children. There are five components of the APGAR scale: color, heart rate, reflexes, muscle tone, and respiration. In each of these categories, a child can score 0, 1, or 2 points, which means that altogether the result of the APGAR score can be between 0 and 10 points. A score of 7-10 points is defined as reassuring, 4-6 points as moderately abnormal, and 0-3 as low.

All infants should be reported with APGAR score at the time of 1 and 5 minutes after the birth. Additionally, children with a score below 7 should undergo an additional assessment at 10, 15, and 20 minutes postpartum. A score of 5 or less at 5 minutes is an indication to obtain umbilical artery blood for an arterial blood gas test in acidosis diagnostic.

APGAR scale can be used as well as a method to monitor the effects of resuscitation performed on an infant: a higher score at 5 minutes after birth than at 1 minute postpartum may indicate a positive response to resuscitation.

Does your child or patient require a blood transfusion? How much blood do you need to prepare? Please, help yourself with our pediatric blood transfusion volume calculator!

What does APGAR stand for?

APGAR is a backronym, which means that it was constructed from a set of words whose initial letters spell an actual word – the surname of Dr. Virginia Apgar. It was created to make the components of APGAR scale easier to memorize and remember in a time of need.

  • A stands for Appearance, which refers to skin color;

  • P is for Pulse, the heart rate of an infant;

  • G stands for Grimace, the reaction to stimuli, generally with a suction catheter

  • Second A stands for Activity, moving and tension of muscles; and

  • R means Respiration, the quality of breathing and crying.

There is yet another mnemonic technique to help you remember the APGAR scale – "How Ready Is This Child?" where H reminds Heart rate, R – Respiratory effort, I – Irritability, T – Tone, and C – Color. Which one is more suitable for you?

Are you an expectant parent who wishes to learn more about what to expect after birth? Be sure to visit our height calculator to learn how tall your child will be.

How to calculate APGAR score?

In order to give a child a score with the APGAR scale, you have to evaluate its five characteristics:

  • Color of the skin - choose between all pale or blue (0 pts), blue extremities with pink body (1 pt), and all pink (2 pts).

  • Heart rate – auscultate the beating of the child's heart and select according to your examination: no beating (0 pts), under 100 beats per minute (1 pt), over 100 beats per minute (2 pts).

  • Reflex irritability – stimulate the child with an intranasal suction catheter or by irritating the bottom of feet, then assess: no response to stimulation (0 pts), a grimace on stimulation (1 pt), cry on stimulation (2 pts).

  • Muscle tone – look for flexion and active motion and choose: no activity and limp muscles (0 pts), there is some flexion (1 pt), there is flexion of both arms and legs, the child is moving actively (2 pts).

  • Respiration – observe the breathing of the child and pick one of three: no respiration (0 pts), weak respiration or cry with irregular breaths and gasping (1 pt), or strong cry with good respiration (2 pts).

You can also use our calculator, which will guide you through the process of assessing and then will sum up the points for you!

Limitations of APGAR score

The APGAR score can be affected by the week of pregnancy in which the baby is born, medications administered to the mother, neurologic, cardiologic, respiratory conditions, resuscitation, and subjective assessment of some of its components by medical professionals. It has to be kept in mind that asphyxia – too low a supply of oxygen to the body of an infant, cannot be diagnosed only with the APGAR scale. Furthermore, you should not use the APGAR score in predicting individual mortality and neurologic outcomes.

You can find more information and recommendations considering APGAR score in a document by The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Do you wish to learn more about pregnancy and birth? Be sure to visit our due date calculator.

Kacper Pawlik, MD
Skin color (Appearance)
Heart rate (Pulse)
Reflex irritability (Grimace)
Muscle tone (Activity)
APGAR score
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