Use and abuse of the Apgar score. Committee on Fetus and Newborn, American Academy of Pediatrics, and Committee on Obstetric Practice, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

Pediatrics. 1996 Jul;98(1):141-2.


This is a revised statement published jointly with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists that emphasizes the appropriate use of the Apgar Score. The highlights of the statement include: (1) the Apgar Score is useful in assessing the condition of the infant at birth; (2) the Apgar score alone should not be used as evidence that neurologic damage was caused by hypoxia that results in neurologic injury or from inappropriate intrapartum treatment; and (3) an infant who has had "asphyxia" proximate to delivery that is severe enough to result in acute neurologic injury should demonstrate all of the following: (a) profound metabolic or mixed acidemia (pH < 7.00) on an umbilical arterial blood sample, if obtained, (b) an Apgar score of 0 to 3 for longer than 5 minutes, (c) neurologic manifestation, eg, seizure, coma, or hypotonia, and (d) evidence of multiorgan dysfunction.

Publication types

  • Guideline
  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Apgar Score*
  • Disabled Persons
  • Gynecology
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Obstetrics
  • Pediatrics
  • Societies, Medical
  • United States