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New Guidelines for Fetal Heart Rate Monitoring

New guidelines were released by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists regarding fetal heart rate monitoring.  Practice Bulletin #106, which outlines the guidelines, is published in the July 2009 issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology. 

The most commonly used method for monitoring the heart rate of the fetus during birth is electronic fetal monitoring.  A fetal heart rate monitor is used to track the status of the fetal heart rate during labor and intervene if necessary.  An abnormal heart rate may signal a potential problem with the fetus during delivery, including the risk of a baby being born with cerebral palsy.

One notable update in the guidelines for fetal heart rate tracings, print-outs of the fetal heart rate.  Category 1 tracings are considered normal and no specific action is required. Category 2 tracings are considered indeterminate and require further evaluation.  Category 3 tracings are considered abnormal and require prompt evaluation.  The guidelines also state that women in labor who have high-risk conditions such as preeclampsia, type 1 diabetes, or suspected fetal growth restriction should be monitored continuously during labor.

If you have questions about whether your child's cerebral palsy is the result of medical malpractice, contact the cerebral palsy attorneys of Pennsylvania for a free consultation.