Google commemorated the 109th birth anniversary of Dr. Virginia Apgar, the American obstetrical anesthetist, who discovered the APGAR score, a series of quick steps to check the health of a baby moments after its birth. She was credited with reducing child mortality within the first 24 hours after birth.

The doodle showed an anime-version of a smiling Apgar standing in front of various babies, taking notes on a clipboard as she conducted the APGAR test.

Here are a few interesting facts to know about Apgar:

1. Apgar originally wanted to become a surgeon after completing two years of a surgical internship at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, but due to the sexism prevalent in society at the time, she was urged by her male professors to pursue the newer and less prestigious field of anesthesiology. Many medical professionals considered the field of anesthesiology to be beneath them as it was mostly practiced by nurses. Nevertheless, Apgar managed to excel in the field, becoming the first woman to head a division at Columbia University and Presbyterian Hospital when she was named Director of Anesthesiology in 1983. 

2. The rate of infant deaths within 24 hours of their birth caught Apgar’s interest. She found it disturbing that the babies who were born blue or struggled to breathe were often listed as "stillborn" or just left to die. She began developing techniques to warm newborns and resuscitating them by providing them oxygen.

3. Eventually, in 1949, Apgar came up with a series of quick tests to determine the health of a baby to be administered by the doctor moments after birth. After the system was publicly presented in 1952 and published in 1953, it became popular in the United States before being adopted by the rest of the world. The test went on to save the lives of countless infants and laid the foundations of neonatology and alerting doctors to potentially grave conditions that a newborn might be facing.

4. Apgar also went on to study the results of the test and its links to labor, delivery, and maternal anesthetics on the baby's condition. With the help of her fellow researchers, Dr. Duncan Holaday and Dr. Stanley James, she discovered new methods of measuring blood gases and blood levels of anesthesia, and contributed specialized knowledge in cardiology.

5. Apgar’s research also led her to determine that administering cyclopropane anesthesia to the mother was likely to result in an infant's low Apgar score, leading to a number of birth defects and ultimately deaths of newborns.

6. Incidentally, the test was not called the APGAR score initially, nor was her name used as an acronym till later on. A student of Apgar’s coined the name in 1962 by finding apt terminology for the letters of her last name — Appearance, Pulse, Grimace, Activity, and Respiration — to suit the test. Needless to say, it also made it easier to remember the five steps of the test, a fact that delighted Apgar, Eco Parent Magazine reported. 

7. Apgar was known for carrying a penknife, an endotracheal tube and a laryngoscope with her at all times, in case someone faced breathing issues.

8. Over 60 scientific articles and several essays written by Apgar were published in newspapers and magazines during the extent of her career. Her book “Is My Baby All Right?” published in 1972, explaining the causes and treatment of common birth defects, is still being sold online.

9. She was commemorated on a U.S. postage stamp in 1994 and in 1995 she was inducted into the U.S. National Women’s Hall of Fame.

10. She died on August 7, 1974, aged 65, as an unmarried woman. Although she helped save millions of newborns, she never had any kids of her own because she said that she never found the right man. “I never found a man who could cook," she said.