Feature

Don’t try this at home?

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b4421 (Published 06 November 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b4421
  1. Rebecca Coombes, associate editor
  1. 1BMJ, London

    Home fetal heart monitors have become widely available in recent years and cheap enough for big UK retailers such as Mothercare to market the devices as one of the “pregnancy essentials.” The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, which is responsible for those fetal monitors that are categorised as medical devices, said it had concerns these products were being increasingly used by lay people. A spokesperson for the agency said: “We are aware of a case where a mother, concerned by lack of fetal movement, was reassured by an apparent fetal heartbeat from her monitor. However, it appears that the monitor was reacting to the maternal heartbeat and the child was later stillborn.”

    The agency said it can take action …

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