This simple scoring system indicates how well the fetus fared through labor and delivery. The maximum score is 10 and the minimum is 0, with up to 2 points being awarded for each of 5 measures of health.
Apgar scoring is done at 1 minute and 5 minutes of age, sometimes by nursing staff, sometimes by physicians. If the 5-minute score is low, a 10, 15 or 20-minute score may be recorded, either until the baby is stable or moved from the delivery room for specialized care.
While there is some correlation between low 5 minute Apgar scores and neurological outcome, only a very small percentage of children with low 5 minute scores sustain brain damage. The longer the score remains low, the higher the correlation with neurological damage.