Foetal ECG test could help reduce loss of wellbeing in unborn babies

17th June 2011

Scientists at the University of Granada have discovered that using foetal ECG is the best way to tell if unborn babies are experiencing problems which could lead to a loss of wellbeing.

Researchers found that the method was better than pulse oximetry, as it could provide accurate readings for early acidosis, which could lead to a birth being expediated before the foetus showed signs of acidosis.

It could lead to less caesarean sections taking place as foetuses would be made healthy before the birth took place, according to study author Mercedes Valverde Pareja and her team in the department of gynaecology and obstetrics.

The study was based on 180 women in labour who were admitted to a hospital in Granada and showed that using an ECG test showed better and more continuous results.

Ms Pareja said: "With this work we found that effectiveness is not the same, as they operate at different levels of foetal physiology and therefore give some very precise data."

Acidosis is an increased acidity in the blood, which can lead to complications.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

1. Pareja, Mercedes Valverde et al. " Comparison of the Effectiveness of fetal oximetry and fetal electrocardiogram press in intrapartum fetal Risk of loss of well-being." Progresos en ginecología y obstetrician, June 2011.

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