Google paid a doodle tribute to United States anesthesiologist Virginia Apgar, known for developing the ‘Apgar score’ to test newborn infants, on her 109th birth anniversary on Thursday. The Apgar test, an acronym for appearance, pulse, grimace, activity, and respiration, takes a minute to ascertain if a newborn needs immediate medical assistance.
Doctors using her test, within the first five minutes post delivery, have saved thousands of babies from living with birth defects or dying, BBC reported. Apgar developed the test in 1952 when infant mortality rates were high.
She chose to enter the world of medicine after her elder brother died of tuberculosis. She trained as a surgeon and specialised in anaesthesiology at a time when women were discouraged from practicing surgery. She joined Columbia University as its first full-time woman professor in 1949 and was the first woman to head a division at New York’s Presbyterian Hospital.
Apgar wrote over 60 medical articles, and co-wrote the bestseller “Is My Baby All Right?” with Joan Beck.