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June 11, 1997

Virginia Apgar and the Apgar Score: Kudos and a Correction

Author Affiliations

University of Colorado School of Medicine The Children's Hospital Denver

JAMA. 1997;277(22):1762. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03540460028025

To the Editor.  —The captivating collage by Mr Skolnick on Dr Virginia Apgar1 included the history of the Apgar Memorial String Quartet, the beguiling personality of Dr Virginia Apgar, and that incredible 1957 nocturnal caper at the Harkness Pavillion when she and Carleen Hutchins "liberated" the curly maple shelf of a telephone booth that they transposed to the back of Apgar's viola.It is an unfortunate gaffe, however, that the article claims that the Apgar score "is often highly predictive of the child's later psychocognitive development" to those who would retire or defend the Apgar score. This issue has been debated ad nauseum with the usual conclusion that the Apgar score is still the best clinical tool for the evaluation of the newly born infant and that it was never intended to predict later outcome.2