Today’s Google Doodle is paying tribute to Dr Virginia Apgar. Apgar was an American obstetrical anesthetist, and is the inventor of Apgar Score that determines newborn baby’s health.
Dr Virginia Apgar was born in New Jersey in 1909, and always had a keen interest in Science. She left school knowing that she wanted to be a doctor, and initially studied zoology, chemistry and physiology. She attended Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, and in 1933, she graduated fourth in her class before completing a residency in surgery at P&S in 1937.
She is widely known for being a leading figure in the fields of anesthesiology and teratology. She developed a newborn infant’s neonatal prognosis also known as Apgar Score, which is taken within minutes of birth, and has now become standard practice in hospitals worldwide. Her score has a range of zero to ten based on tot’s condition and helped resuscitate infants struggling to breathe.
Google doodle today remembers Dr Apgar on what would have been her 109th birthday. In her personal life, Apgar kept herself busy with work, and she never married or had children. Apgar is also known for her work “Is My Baby All Right? A Guide to Birth Defects” published in collaboration with Joan Beck.
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Apgar was the first woman to head a specialty division at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. She built P&S’s anesthesia division from the ground up in conjunction with Dr Allen Whipple. Apgar had an illustrious career, one that she used to bring down death rate for newborns. She died of liver cirrhosis on August 7, 1974.