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Virginia Apgar

explanatory Essay
837 words
837 words
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If you were born in 1954 or after, your first test done on you shortly after birth is called the Apgar score. The score is named after its founder Dr. Virginia Apgar who was an obstetrical anesthesiologist that was interested in the effects in anesthesia while a mother was in labor. This interest led her to the discovery of the Apgar score. Virginia Apgar was born in 1909 in Westfield, New Jersey (Rose, 2009). She attended Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts and then went and studied medicine at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University in New York in the 1930’s (Rose, 2009). At the time of a stock market crash in 1929, Virginia Apgar was heading to the College of Physicians and Surgeons and was in a financial crisis. She had to borrow money from family friends to attend and graduated $4,000 in debt (Pearce, 2005). She was discouraged from her surgical internship since so many women have failed at a male dominant specialty that was crowded and competitive. She was then persuaded into anesthesiology after her ability was recognized by another physician. Virginia Apgar went into anesthesiology at a time it was done by mostly nurses. By 1945, anesthetics were then mostly given by doctors than nurses (Pearce, 2005). She threatened to resign when anesthesiologists were not allowed to charge professional fees; the conflict resolved. Dr. Virginia Apgar had an interest in obstetrical anesthesia, studying the effects it had on the mother and unborn child since fetal monitors were not yet invented and newborns were not given the attention right after birth like they are today. Virginia Apgar was determined on how to best evaluate newborn health and survival rates right after birth. Discovering the Apgar S... ... middle of paper ... ... woman to her work, from birth defects to public health education, and fundraising for research. She brought great contributions not only to obstetrical health, but to public health as well. References National Library of Medicine. (2003).Changing the Face of Medicine: Virginia Apgar. Retrieved January 21, 2014, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/changingthefaceofmedicine/physicians/biography_12.html. NIH Medline Plus. 2010. Dr. Virginia Apgar: Keeping Score at Baby’s First Cry. Retrieved February 15, 2014, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/magazine/issues/winter10/articles/winter10pg25-26.html. Pearce, J. (2005). Virginia Apgar (1909-1974): neurological evaluation of the newborn infant. European Neurology, 54(3), 132-134. Rose, D. (2009). March of Dimes. Virginia Apgar. Retrieved January 21, 2014, from http://www.marchofdimes.com/mission/virginia-apgar.aspx.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that the apgar score is named after its founder dr. virginia agar, an obstetrical anesthesiologist who was interested in the effects of anesthesia while a mother was in labor.
  • Explains that virginia apgar was born in 1909 in westfield, new jersey. she attended mount holyoke college in massachusetts and then studied medicine at columbia university in the 1930s.
  • Explains dr. virginia apgar's interest in obstetrical anesthesia, studying the effects it had on the mother and unborn child since fetal monitors were not yet invented and newborns weren't given attention right after birth.
  • Explains that the apgar score is a quick test that is done to determine the newborn's condition.
  • Explains that apgar is an acronym for what is tested. it measures a-apperance, p-pulse, g-grimace response, aactivity and muscle tone, and r-respiration.
  • Explains dr. apgar was the first one to successfully catheterize a newborn's umbilical artery to measure pressure, which helped assess the effects of maternal anesthesia on the newborn.
  • Narrates how the director of march of dimes promoted the rubella vaccine after an outbreak of birth defects and infant deaths, and effective use of rh immune globulin (rhogam) in pregnant women.
  • Narrates how the march of dimes' 15 years of education, research, publications, and program development led to the first committee on perinatal health, which planned for 4 years to improve maternal-fetal health.
  • Explains that virginia apgar died in 1974, was memorialized on a postage stamp issued by the american academy of pediatrics, and was inducted into the national women’s hall of fame.
  • Explains dr. virginia apgar made a great impact in the medical field. she was devoted to her work, from birth defects to public health education and fundraising for research.
  • Cites the national library of medicine's changing the face of medicine: virginia apgar. nih medline plus. 2010.
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