Related Editorial. Electronic fetal heart rate monitoring is commonly used to assess fetal well-being during labor. Although detection of fetal compromise is one benefit of fetal monitoring, there are also risks, including false-positive tests that may result in unnecessary surgical intervention. Since variable and inconsistent interpretation of fetal heart rate tracings may affect management, a systematic approach to interpreting the patterns is important.
Interpretation of the Electronic Fetal Heart Rate During Labor
Intrapartum Fetal Monitoring - American Family Physician
Chorioamnionitis is a common complication of pregnancy associated with significant maternal, perinatal, and long-term adverse outcomes. Adverse maternal outcomes include postpartum infections and sepsis while adverse infant outcomes include stillbirth, premature birth, neonatal sepsis, chronic lung disease and brain injury leading to cerebral palsy and other neurodevelopmental disabilities. Research in the last two decades has expanded our understanding of the mechanistic links between intraamniotic infection and preterm delivery as well as morbidities of preterm and term infants. Recent and ongoing clinical research into better methods for diagnosing, treating and preventing chorioamnionitis is likely to have a substantial impact on short and long-term outcomes in the neonate.
How to differentiate maternal from fetal heart rate patterns on electronic fetal monitoring
This version of the article includes supplemental content. Patient information : See related handout on electronic fetal monitoring , written by the author of this article. Continuous electronic fetal monitoring was developed in the s to assist in the diagnosis of fetal hypoxia during labor. Continuous electronic fetal monitoring has been shown to reduce the incidence of neonatal seizures, but there has been no beneficial effect in decreasing cerebral palsy or neonatal mortality. Intraobserver variability may play a major role in its interpretation.
The author reports no financial relationships relevant to this article. Three cases illustrate how maternal heart rate may masquerade as a fetal heart rate pattern and obscure the interpretation of EFM recordings. Continuous electronic fetal heart rate monitoring EFM is used in the vast majority of all labors in the United States.