Today on Google's home page is a special Google logo, Doodle, for the woman who invented the first test you were ever given in this world - the Apgar score. By finishing her high school, she knew she wanted to become a doctor and started her studies in medicine. The functions included the measuring of heart rate, respiration, muscle tone, reflexes and skin color of the newborn. Developed in 1952 in the U.S. when the infant mortality rate (IMR) was high, the Apgar score is a key reason for that country seeing a massive drop in newborn deaths. Google devotes its present doodle to Apgar and its crucial contribution, on the occasion of the 109th anniversary of its birth.
The revolutionising invention was first used in 1952, and has been used in almost every hospital birth since.
Born to a insurance executive, inventor and astronomer she was the youngest of the three children.
Aside from the Apgar Score, she also accomplished numerous feats throughout her career.
But she could barely spend two years into her surgery residency as the then Chair of Surgery at the institution persuaded her to switch to anaesthesia, an uncalled-for move that Columbia University termed "a reflection of the times".
The chairman of P&S, Dr Allen Whipple, persuaded her to go into anaesthesiology, because he felt the discipline needed her "energy and ability" to help it. As attending anesthesiologist at Presbyterian Hospital, she assisted in the delivery of close to 20,000 babies. Dr Apgar developed the score in 1952 to quantify the effect of obstetric anaesthesia on babies.
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Apgar's work on the health of babies also saw her become the first woman to be a professor at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1949. She went on to earn a master's degree in public health and lead the department of congenital defects at the March of Dimes, winning several awards along the way.
She authored the book, "Is My Baby All Rights", with journalist Joan Beck in 1972.
Dr. Apgar became interested in the field of medicine after several of her family members developed serious health problem.
She died of cirrhosis of the liver at the age of 65 on August 7, 1974, and was buried at the Fairview Cemetery in Westfield.