Am J Perinatol 2017; 34(01): 08-13
DOI: 10.1055/s-0036-1584149
Original Article
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Variability in Apgar Score Assignment among Clinicians: Role of a Simple Clarification

Sabhya Gupta
1   Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, Michigan
2   Department of Biology, The College of New Jersey, Ewing, New Jersey
,
Girija Natarajan
1   Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, Michigan
,
Dhruv Gupta
1   Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, Michigan
,
Sreenivas Karnati
1   Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, Michigan
3   Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, Cleveland Clinic Hospital, Cleveland, Ohio
,
Meghan Dwaihy
1   Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, Michigan
,
Bo Wang
1   Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, Michigan
,
Sanjay Chawla
1   Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, Michigan
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

15 January 2016

18 April 2016

Publication Date:
16 May 2016 (online)

Abstract

Objective We aimed to evaluate variability in Apgar score (AS) assignment among health care providers (HCPs) and to evaluate whether a simple clarification improves accuracy and consistency of AS assignment.

Study Design An electronic questionnaire survey was provided to pediatric residents, nurse practitioners, neonatal fellows, and faculty in level III neonatal intensive care unit and major academic centers in the United State to assign AS for three clinical scenarios. Next, we provided a simple clarification on various components of AS. After review of clarification, responders were asked to provide AS for the same scenarios. We also sought the opinion of responders on the subjectivity of five components of AS.

Results A total of 107 responses were collected. Correct assignment before and after clarification improved significantly: heart rate (78 vs. 90%, p = 0.02), reflex (63 vs.75%, p = 0.06), and breathing (82 vs. 96%, p = 0.003). Correct scoring for color and tone were 86 and 67%, respectively. Interobserver agreement improved significantly after clarification.

Conclusion There was variability among HCPs for AS assignment, with improvement in correct response as well as consistency after a simple clarification. Availability of this clarification, along with the AS table in delivery room, will improve the correct assignment and consistency of AS for high-risk infants.