The labor and delivery nurse notes that the health care provider has rated a newborn’s Apgar score as 9. The nurse understands which to be true regarding Apgar scores?

  1. The optimum score is 10.
  2. A baby with poor activity would rate a 1 in that area.
  3. The highest score that each factor may receive is 3.
  4. Scores are obtained 5 minutes after birth and repeated 5 minutes later.
Number 1 is correct.
Rationale: Apgar scores measure five areas: appearance, pulse, grimace, activity, and respiration. The highest score for each item is 2. Therefore, the optimum score is 10. A score of 1 in an area indicates the infant is okay but diminished in that area. The lowest score for an area is 0. Poor activity would rate as 0. Apgar scores are obtained one minute after birth.