Assessment of the fetus: Intermittent auscultation, electronic fetal heart rate tracing, and fetal pulse oximetry

James Smith, Jr., J. Honey Onstad

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

7 Scopus citations


Intrapartum assessment of fetal well-being has evolved over the last 40 years, with the primary focus being fetal heart rate assessments. Despite widespread use and initial enthusiasm for the potential for heart rate monitoring to reduce fetal and neonatal mortality and morbidity, conclusive evidence of improvement in long-term outcomes is lacking. Its use is associated with an increase in operative obstetric interventions and may increase morbidity associated with such interventions. Current investigation includes fetal pulse oximetry and further analysis of specific fetal electrocardiographic changes associated with hypoxic stress. Currently, it is likely that fetal heart rate monitoring will maintain its role as a common intervention in obstetric units.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-254
Number of pages10
JournalObstetrics and Gynecology Clinics of North America
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2005


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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