Rapid responses are electronic comments to the editor. They enable our users to debate issues raised in articles published on bmj.com. A rapid response is first posted online. If you need the URL (web address) of an individual response, simply click on the response headline and copy the URL from the browser window. A proportion of responses will, after editing, be published online and in the print journal as letters, which are indexed in PubMed. Rapid responses are not indexed in PubMed and they are not journal articles. The BMJ reserves the right to remove responses which are being wilfully misrepresented as published articles.
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.