- Fetal distress
MeshID = D005316
medicine( obstetrics), fetal distress is the presence of signs in a pregnant woman—before or during childbirth—that the fetusis not well or is becoming excessively fatigued.
igns and symptoms
Signs and symptoms of "fetal distress" include:
*Decreased movement felt by the mother
Meconiumin the amniotic fluid
**increased or decreased fetal
heart rate( tachycardiaand bradycardia), especially during and after a contraction
**decreased variability in the fetal
*Biochemical signs, assessed by collecting a small sample of baby's blood from a scalp prick through the open cervix in labour
**elevated fetal blood lactate levels indicating the baby has a
Some of these signs are more reliable predictors of actual distress than others. For example, cardiocartography can give high false positive rates, even when interpreted by highly experienced medical personnel. Acidosis is a highly reliable predictor, but is not always available. A highly effective method of assessment of distress would be to use fetal heart rate as a first indicator of distress, to be confirmed with a more reliable method of diagnosis before radical treatment is performed.
There are many causes of fetal distress:
* Breathing problems
* Abnormal position and presentation of the fetus
Prolapsed umbilical cord
* Premature closure of the fetal
In many situations fetal distress will lead the
obstetricianto recommend steps to urgently deliver the baby. This can be done by induction, or in more urgent cases, a caesarean sectionmay be performed.
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