loading page

Intermittent auscultation (surveillance) of fetal heart rate in labour: A progressive evidence-backed approach with aim to improve methodology, convenience, reliability and patient safety.
  • Shashikant Sholapurkar
Shashikant Sholapurkar
Royal United Hospital NHS Trust
Author Profile

Abstract

Continued instances of serious birth asphyxia following intermittent auscultation (IA) need not wholly imply inherent limitations. This review uses analytical modelling to establish a safer and improved regime. It demonstrates that the Doppler-device is superior to Pinard stethoscope, with observation of the numerical read-out of fetal heart rate (FHR) from the later part of contraction till the onset of next contraction. Current recommendation of actually counting heart tones for 1 minute has many fallacies. IA should focus on the baseline FHR and late decelerations. Detection of additional FHR changes like accelerations, overshoots or cycling is cumbersome and adds little value.