Sunday, 31 October 2010

how APGAR became a Backronym

Apgar score (AP-gar skor) noun

A method of assessing a newborn's health.

[After anesthesiologist Virginia Apgar (1909-1974) who devised it.]

This is a judging world and we get evaluated right from birth (Apgar score) to death (how many people came to the funeral). In 1953, Dr. Virginia Apgar devised a quick way to measure the health of a newborn child. She assigned 0, 1, or 2 points for each of the five criteria: heart rate, respiration, muscle tone, skin color, and reflex response. The Apgar score is typically calculated at one minute and five minutes after birth. Ten years after the debut of the Apgar score, Dr. L. Joseph Butterfield introduced an acronym as a mnemonic aid for the term: Appearance, Pulse, Grimace, Activity, Respiration. Also see backronym.

"The baby, a 6-pound, 14-ounce boy, appeared so healthy that doctors who delivered him gave him an Apgar score of 9 on a scale of 1 to 10."
Delthia Ricks; Congenital Malaria Case is First For NY; Newsday (New York); Apr 23, 2005.

Oh to have a lodge in some vast wilderness. Where rumors of oppression and deceit, of unsuccessful and successful wars may never reach me anymore. -William Cowper, poet (1731-1800)