What is an Apgar Score Chart?
The Apgar score is an assessment done on newborn infants. Medical practitioners conduct this test a minute after babies are born to see if they handled the birthing process well and after 5 minutes to see if they are adjusting to the environment outside the mother’s womb without much difficulty. On rare occasions, physicians also use the to assess the infant 10 minutes after birth in case the infant encounters any complications. This assessment must be done within the given time frame for immediate intervention, especially if the infant shows signs of asphyxiation.
If you’re a practitioner who hasn’t encountered this assessment before, here are some things you need to know about the Apgar score chart:
- The score chart was named after the creator. Their name - Apgar - simultaneously serves as a mnemonic to help practitioners remember what to check in a newborn infant. Here’s a list of what each letter corresponds to:
- A = activity or muscle tone (interchangeable with the second A in Apgar)
- P = pulse or heart rate
- G = grimace or the infant’s response to stimulation
- A = appearance or skin color
- R = respiration or breathing.
- An infant can get a score of 0 to 2, with 0 being the lowest and 2 being the highest. Do note that newborn infants don’t usually get a 10 within the first minute because their hands and feet remain bluish until they warm up.
- Since this chart depends on the practitioner’s observation, it can be quite subjective. However, studies have shown that it’s both quick and reliable enough to check the health status of newborn infants.
How does this Printable Apgar Score Chart work?
Now that you know the 101 on this assessment, in case you need a digital or printable copy of the Apgar Score Chart, we’ve provided you with a step-by-step process of obtaining and utilizing our free template.
Step One. Access the Template
To access and download our template you can do either of the following:
- Head to the template library on our website or app and search for “Apgar Score Chart”
- Click the “Download Template” or “Use this Template” button above
Step Two. Conduct the Test
As soon as you have the newborn infant in your arms or on a clean, comfy surface, conduct the test. And since you must conduct this within the first minute, it’s best to remember APGAR when figuring out the order of checking.
To help you out, here’s a list and recommended flow of what you have to do per letter:
Activity - Check if there is flexion in the limbs.
Pulse - Using your stethoscope, check if their heartbeat is at least 100 beats per minute.
Grimace - Mildly pinch and observe if they respond by either grimacing, crying, pulling away, or the like.
Appearance - Focus on the extremities and check if they are pink or have more of a bluish color.
Respiration - Look at the rise and fall of their chest or listen well to the sound of their breathing/crying.
Step Three. Score
Should the infant need immediate intervention, this step may come after assistance.
Alternatively, if the infant is doing well, you can tick the scores in the table under the section “One Minute After Birth”. You can also ask a colleague to answer the test if your hands are full during that moment.
Step Four. Repeat
After five minutes, the practitioner must repeat steps two and three to ensure the infant is healthy. In certain circumstances, you may have to repeat the test 10 minutes after birth.
Step Five. Record
After each test, if you need a copy to add to the infant’s medical records, you can write down the scores on our editable chart.
Apgar Score Chart example (sample)
Here’s an example of an answered Apgar Score chart to help give you insight into what this assessment looks like completed. Feel free to download an offline copy as a reference for APGAR or as a guide by clicking the “Download Example PDF” button above.
When to use these Apgar Score Chart templates?
One can use these Apgar Score Chart templates when handling newborn infants. This is especially helpful when the mother has opted for a c-section, is experiencing a difficult birth, or if, from the get-go, one can see fluid in the infant’s airway causing asphyxia. In these situations, one can expect that the Apgar score is likelier to be low however, it still shouldn’t stop the practitioner from assessing the baby.
Though it is a reliable test to see if the child needs immediate intervention, it shouldn’t be used to diagnose disorders or diseases. Furthermore, it shouldn’t be used as a basis for predicting long-term health problems, neurological issues, or infant mortality.
As a final reminder, tests such as the Apgar score chart may be helpful, however, you as the expert will know best when and at what time you should provide assistance. This is based on the fact that infants can be mistaken to have difficulty breathing when actually, the infant is taking quite a long period of time transitioning outside the womb.
Who is this Apgar Score Chart PDF for?
Any medical practitioner present during the mother’s labor and delivery and in charge of caring for the infant can benefit from a PDF copy of this Apgar Score Chart. To enumerate, the Apgar Score Chart is designed for these physicians:
- Primary Care Doctors (Family Practitioners) or General Practitioners
- Obstetrician-gynecologist (OB-GYN)
- Certified Nurse-Midwives
Benefits of these free Apgar Score Chart templates
Quick and Easy Assessment Tool
It’ll only take a few minutes for a practitioner, especially a trained or experienced one, to understand and memorize the descriptions written in the chart for future tests. However, even beginners can utilize this chart because it doesn’t require certification nor does it contain medical jargon that requires additional research.
Should you need help, we’ve ensured that our template comes complete with the mnemonic and descriptions so you may easily refer to them in times of need.
Fast and Reliable Results
There’s only a small window of time given to practitioners to intervene when there are complications after birth. Therefore, a test such as the Apgar Score chart is one of the first assessment tools to use on infants because it’s not only reliable according to numerous physicians but also quick.
Early Detection and Intervention
Should the infant show signs of asphyxiation, this is one of the tests that’ll help practitioners detect and immediately make a choice to intervene since the test must be conducted a minute after the infant is born.
Whether or not the baby experiences complications, the Apgar Score Chart is a good assessment tool for tracking the infant's progress outside the womb since you have to do it twice and thrice if need be.
Having a fully digital template that can be stored in a secure EHR such as Carepatron can save a lot of time in printing copies and having space for these documents. Even better, if all of your documents are digital, you can collate them and keep them in a digital folder under the patient’s name on Carepatron.
Why use this Apgar Score app?
It’s because beyond providing this guide and a template for Apgar Score charts, Carepatron can also equip you with the means and tools to streamline business and clinical workflows.
We’ve created this leading practice management software you can get as an app on desktops, iOs, and Android because we understand that you have a lot on your plate beyond patient care. And to make it easier for you, we’ve enabled automating certain administrative tasks that require most of your time and effort.
Sign up at Carepatron and you’ll get free access to the following resources and features anytime, anywhere:
- Over 100 editable, downloadable, and printable tests, surveys, assessments, and forms helpful for your practice
- A HIPAA-compliant and secure EHR for your digital notes and important information on your client for sharing with relevant parties
- Multiple scheduling and telehealth software applications
- An automated payment system you can set up for your client.
These and more all on Carepatron! Give us a try today.