Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Fetal Heart Tones

I was observing an online discussion of whether or not an OB's application of forceps had been an appropriate intervention, and the subject of second stage decelerations came up. A midwife-friend of mine said:

"Fetal heart tone interpretation is a bit more complicated than I think most people give them credit for... It's *when* they decel (when in the labor, when in relationship to the contraction), how much they decel, how long they are down for, how fast they are to recover, how variable they are without the decel, the beat to beat variability.... It's not quite as simple as "baby's heartbeat went down, it's an emergency". Subtle changes that a lay person may not even notice can appear quite ominous....and hearing deeper decels that can freak most people out might not be too notable because of other reassuring signs.

"In other words: it's complicated, it's an art, and it's even something that birth professionals are still trying to figure out and fine-tune (as 90% of "late decels" - which are considered much more
concerning - are considered 'false positives" for fetal distress)."

Interesting stuff!

This website was given for information, and it looks interesting! Check it out:

Intermittent Auscultation for Community-Based Midwives

This is a whole new subject for me; I'm looking forward to learning more!

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