Document Detail

Intermittent auscultation of fetal heart rate during labour - a widely accepted technique for low risk pregnancies: but are the current national guidelines robust and practical?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20701496     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Intermittent auscultation of fetal heart rate is an accepted practice in low risk labours in many countries. National guidelines on intrapartum fetal monitoring were critically reviewed regarding timing and frequency of intermittent auscultation. Hypothetical but plausible examples are presented to illustrate that it may be possible to miss significant fetal distress with strict adherence to current guidelines. Opinion is forwarded that intermittent auscultation should be performed for 60 seconds before and after three contractions over about 10 min every half an hour in the first stage of labour. Reasons are put forward to show how this could be more practical and patient friendly and at the same time could improve detection of fetal distress. The current recommendation of intermittent auscultation every 15 min in the first stage is associated with poor compliance and leads to unnecessary burden, stress and medicolegal liability for birth attendants. Modification of current national guidelines would be desirable.
S L Sholapurkar
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of obstetrics and gynaecology : the journal of the Institute of Obstetrics and Gynaecology     Volume:  30     ISSN:  1364-6893     ISO Abbreviation:  J Obstet Gynaecol     Publication Date:  2010  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-08-12     Completed Date:  2011-01-03     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8309140     Medline TA:  J Obstet Gynaecol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  537-40     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Royal United Hospital Bath NHS Trust, Bath, UK.
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MeSH Terms
Delivery, Obstetric*
Fetal Distress / diagnosis*,  prevention & control
Fetal Monitoring / instrumentation*,  methods*
Heart Rate, Fetal
Labor Stage, First
Risk Factors

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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