False interpretation of fetal heart rate monitoring in cases of intra uterine death
The original publication is available at http://www.samj.org.za
Spiral scalp electrodes were applied in 30 cases of diagnosed intra uterine death during labour to establish different patterns caused by maternal fetal conduction of the ECG. In 10 cases the signal was of high quality and in 20 cases the signal was of low quality, but nevertheless spurious fetal heart rate recordings were produced. The maternal heart rate is interpreted as apparent 'fetal bradycardia' in all cases but 1. Maternal heart rate accelerations, most of them occurring during uterine contractions, were demonstrated in 12 cases and decelerations in 3 cases. Changes in beat to beat variation were, however, rare.
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