Views And Reviews

Tradition is better than technology

BMJ 1994; 308 doi: (Published 07 May 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:1244
  1. M Divers

    Cardiotocography could never be described as an exact science, even by the most ardent enthusiast, and for most junior hospital doctors its hidden meaning is seldom revealed. It does, however, account for more disturbed nights for those called on to interpret the importance of the trace than will ever be experienced by the parents of those babies in whose intrapartum care its use has been deemed essential. A simple guide to the basic steps in interpretation should benefit everyone. Furthermore, I will attempt to show how the introduction of a simple low cost instrument could improve sensitivity and specificity with major cost-benefit implications for the NHS.

    Traditional midwifery skills placed reliance on a midwife auscultating the fetal heart diligently, using a Pinard stethoscope, during and after a contraction every 15 minutes in the first stage of labour. This provided close contact between the care giver and her charge …

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