Intended for healthcare professionals


Assessment of mother and fetus in labour

BMJ 1999; 319 doi: (Published 07 August 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:381

Article is not evidence based

  1. Ole Olsen, statistician (
  1. Nordic Cochrane Centre, DK-2200 Copenhagen N, Denmark
  2. Department of Maternal Fetal Medicine, Imperial College School of Medicine, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London SW10 9NH

    EDITOR—In its advice for authors1 of ABCs the BMJ states that “there are now many … good systematic reviews” and that “we would like … evidence for key statements.” But is this advice always followed?

    My concern was raised by Steer's article on assessment of the mother and fetus in labour in the ABC of labour care, in which electronic fetal heart rate monitoring is discussed.2 No systematic reviews are listed in the key references. The systematic reviews published by the Cochrane Collaboration show no apparent benefit in terms of neonatal outcome.3 4 This is not mentioned in the ABC; rather it is stated that electronic fetal heart rate monitoring has had a “bad press,” and it is suggested that this could be due “to a false expectation that it could reveal all about fetal …

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