Abrupt fall in the fetal heart rate during labour

Odendaal, H. J. ; Van der Merwe, J. V. (1976-11)


The original publication is available at http://www.samj.org.za


Cardiotocograms of 6044 patients in labour were examined for evidence of an abrupt fall in the fetal heart rate. The latter was defined as a deceleration of at least 50 beats within 3 minutes, without a demonstration of signs of recovery in the following 2 minutes. Only 9 instances could be found, an incidence of 0,15%. Umbilical cord entanglement possibly played a role in 6 of these instances, and 2 of the infants concerned were stillborn. Intra uterine growth retardation was associated with deceleration in 3 infants, 1 of whom was stillborn.

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