Research Article

Influence on clinical practice of routine intra-partum fetal monitoring.

Br Med J 1975; 3 doi: (Published 09 August 1975) Cite this as: Br Med J 1975;3:341
  1. J Sibanda,
  2. R W Beard


    An attempt has been made to monitor by continuous fetal heart rate according all women admitted in labour. Altogether 85% of the 1070 patients delivered at one hospital were monitored in 1973 and 92% in 1974. Perinatal mortality fell significantly from levels in preceding years to 15-8 and 11-7 per 1000 births, respectively, in 1973 and 1974. The fall was primarily due to the elimination of intra-partum stillbirths and a significant reduction in neonatal mortality. The incidence of caesarean sections also fell from 9-7% in 1973 to 5-8% in 1974. All patients should be monitored because it is impossible to predict reliably intra-partum fetal distress from maternal "high-risk" factors present before the onset of labour.