Sunday, February 3, 2008

The APGAR Score

Well, the origin of "Apgar" in Apgar Score had been bugging me for quite some time now.
The ENT book mentions its origin from the name of the doctor who devised it, Dr.Virginia Apgar. While, I somehow had the idea of it being a mnemonic to remember the five components...
So finally I decided to check the net today to find the correct origin... & here's an excerpt from Wikipedia:

"The Apgar score was devised in 1952 by Dr. Virginia Apgar as a simple and repeatable method to quickly and summarily assess the health of newborn children immediately after childbirth.Virginia Apgar was a pediatrician and anesthesiologist who developed the score to ascertain the effects of anaesthetic agents on neonates.
The Apgar score is determined by evaluating the newborn baby on five simple criteria on a scale from zero to two and summing up the five values thus obtained. The resulting Apgar score ranges from zero to 10. The five criteria were used as a
mnemonic learning aid."

The Acronym:
Some ten years after the initial publication, the acronym APGAR was coined in the US as a mnemonic learning aid: Appearance (skin color), Pulse (heart rate), Grimace (reflex irritability), Activity (muscle tone), and Respiration. The mnemonic was introduced in 1963 by the pediatrician Dr. Joseph Butterfield.
Another such backformation attempting to make Apgar an acronym is American Pediatric Gross Assessment Record.

The test, however, is named for Dr. Apgar, making Apgar an eponymous backronym. End of discussion!!


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