Fetal monitoring has been classified as a blend of art and science facilitated by a competent clinician managing the antepartum and intrapartum stages. The fetus’ only indication of physical presence is the fetal heart rate tracing. The inability to assess a patient beyond a marking on a strip, requires perinatal nurses to be highly skilled and well-versed in assessment and interpretation of the only sign of intrauterine tolerance. Adding to the complexity of patient care in labor and delivery, is the unpredictable reaction of the fetus to the stressors of labor. The fetus is invisible, making our timely response to fetal events critical to ensure a safe and healthy delivery. Let’s review strips and follow the oxyhemoglobin pathway to differentiate between tolerance and suspicious impending decompensation.
Presented by: Dr. Alana McGolrick, DNP, RNC-OB, C-EFM, Chief Nursing Officer.