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In a prospective study of 1210 consecutive deliveries the relation between the Apgar scores and the acid-base status of the babies at birth was assessed. Only 21% ofthe babies with a 1 min Apgar score <7 and 19% of the babies with a 5 min Apgar score <7 had a severe acidosis (umbilical artery pH ≤7·10 and base deficit ≥13 mmol/l). 73% of the babies with a severe acidosis had an Apgar score ≥7 at 1 min, and 86% had an Apgar score ≥7 at 5 min. Because the Apgar score does not usually reflect the degree of acidosis at delivery, its value as an index for asphyxial assessment must be questioned. © 1982.

Original publication




Journal article


The Lancet

Publication Date





494 - 496