One of the most important things that medical professionals want to know during labor and delivery is how well a baby is handling the delivery. In other words, fetal well-being. Fetal well-being can be monitored in multiple ways, with one way using the fetal scalp electrode. If fetal well-being deteriorates, then the baby can suffer an injury, with one type of injury being the traumatic brain injury hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy.
Why Does Fetal Monitoring Matter?
During labor and delivery, a baby, along with mom, is under a lot of stress. From contraction patterns, to other factors, this is a stressful process. Monitoring a baby allows doctors and nurses to understand things like the baby’s heart rate, to certain types of acceleration and deceleration patterns. In addition to accel and decel patterns, doctors and nurses can also monitor variability. These things that were just mentioned are important because they go to how well a baby is tolerating a vaginal delivery.
If there are problems with what was just discussed, then doctors and nurses can take steps to remedy the issues. For example, mom can be moved on her side. In addition, oxygen can be given or an IV bolus. In situations in which the conservative measures we just discussed do not clear things up, an emergency C-section might be warranted.
Using The Fetal Scalp Electrode
In appropriate conditions, using the fetal scalp electrode can help doctors and nurses get a better reading as to the baby’s well-being. As just mentioned, this procedure should only be used under specific medical conditions because the procedure will pierce the baby’s skin. The electrode can give a better and more accurate reading as to the baby’s heart rate and variability. Although the monitor on mam’s belly can give good readings, in some cases, the fetal scalp electrode will be used if there are problems assessing the baby’s heart rate, among other things.
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