Electronic Fetal Monitoring

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-12-2011
Electronic Fetal Monitoring
Thu, 02-10-2011 - 5:31pm

In over 20 years as a physician delivering babies and 35 years as an attorney, I've seen many cases in which the fetal monitor was improperly used and unnecessary birth injuries resulted. Our goal is to education people on what to look for with the fetal monitor and when they need to be more proactive. First, let us give an overview of fetal monitoring.

Essentially EFM or Electronic Fetal Monitoring is a method of tracking the patterns of a child’s heart rate before and during the birthing process. The heart rate of the unborn child is constantly changing in response to the environment and stimulation of labor.

EFM machines monitor the unborn child’s heart rate and graph it onto strips of paper. These strips of paper, or “tracings” provide comparable data throughout the delivery that allow doctors to determine any rise in stress of the fetus.

The primary purpose of EFM when introduced in the 60’s was to prevent still births caused by lack of oxygen to the brain. EFM’s are able to detect distress caused by decreasing oxygen delivered to the unborn child during labor.

It is important for expecting parents to understand the reliability and reporting trends of electronic fetal monitoring. This great article gives more information --> http://www.cpfamilynetwork.org/articles