Intended for healthcare professionals

Practice 10-Minute Consultation

Reduced fetal movements

BMJ 2018; 360 doi: (Published 06 March 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;360:k570

Re: Reduced fetal movements

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.

Competing interests: No competing interests

11 March 2018
David Spitzer
PHGH Doctors
Temple Fortune Health Centre, London NW11