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Authors

  1. Phalen, Ann Gibbons PhD, CRNP, NNP-BC
  2. Kirkby, Sharon MSN, RN
  3. Dysart, Kevin MD

Abstract

The Apgar score is a standardized tool for evaluating newborns in the delivery room. Despite its long history and widespread use, debate remains over its reliability of predicting neonatal outcomes, especially in extremely low-birth-weight premature infants. The aim of the study was to examine the relationship between the 5-minute Apgar score of extremely low-birth-weight infants, as it relates to survival and morbidities associated with prematurity and length of hospital stay. A retrospective query of the Alere neonatal database from 2001 to 2011 examined all infants less than 32 weeks' gestation and less than 1000-g birth weight. The 5-minute Apgar score was divided into 2 groups, score of 4 or greater or less than 4. The study compared results of the 5-minute Apgar score and associated morbidities in surviving infants. Statistical analyses included chi-square, Fisher exact test, t test, and multivariate regression. The sample consisted of 3898 infants with an 86.4% (n = 3366) survival rate. Controlling for gestational age and birth weight, surviving infants with a 5-minute Apgar score of less than 4 were more likely to demonstrate nonintact survival. Infants with a low 5-minute Apgar score have greater risk for mortality and morbidities associated with prematurity.