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This article (and the RCOG guideline) recommends listening for 1 minute to the foetal heart rate to determine viability, and states that “if the fetal heart is not heard or is outside the normal range on Doppler auscultation, refer immediately to a maternity unit”.
I wonder what these recommendations aim to achieve. Even if the foetal heart is in the normal range, referral for more prolonged monitoring by cardiotocography is still usually essential after 28 weeks’ gestation.