Birth asphyxia: does the Apgar score have diagnostic value?
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The current literature was reviewed to evaluate the Apgar score as a diagnostic test for the presence of asphyxia. Several studies were examined and the sensitivity, specificity, and predictive values of the Apgar scores calculated. Using an umbilical cord arterial pH below 7.2 as evidence of asphyxia, the one-minute Apgar score showed poor sensitivity as a marker of asphyxia. Therefore, we discourage reference to the term "asphyxia" when Apgar scores alone are used as supportive evidence.
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