Vol 82, No 1 (2011)

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Usefulness of the Apgar score: a national survey of Polish neonatal centers

Maria Katarzyna Kornacka, Ewa Musialik-Świetlińska, Janusz Świetliński, Janusz Książyk, Marek Migdał, Grzegorz Brożek, Jan Zejda
Ginekol Pol 2011;82(1).


Abstract Introduction: The paper discusses the reliability of the Apgar score for evaluating newborns, particularly its usefulness in assessing the state of preterm or full term newborns born with hypoxia. Aim: The paper provides a sum-up of the opinions on usefulness and reliability of the Apgar score given by doctors from 255 NICUs. Material and methods: Data for the analysis were gathered by means of a questionnaire opinion poll sent to 158 primary referral centers, 71 secondary referral centers and 26 tertiary referral centers. Respondents answered questions about value of the Apgar score assessment (highly valuable, limited value, always reliable), as well as overrating and underrating children born in good overall condition and children born with clinical and biochemical indicators of hypoxia. In the group of prematurely born babies, the data concerning newborns with very low (VLBW) and extremely low birth weight (ELBW) were analyzed separately. Results: 88,5% neonatologists claimed the use of the Apgar score in assessing newborn condition to be of little value and only 11,5% found this indicator useful and reliable. Conclusions: According to the majority of Polish neonatologists, Apgar score is not reliable in the assessment of term and preterm hypoxic newborns.

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