Recommendations for intrapartum fetal monitoring are not followed inlow-risk women: A study from two Norwegian birth units
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionKaasen AK, Blix E, Rosset, Lindahl. Recommendations for intrapartum fetal monitoring are not followed inlow-risk women: A study from two Norwegian birth units. Sexual & Reproductive HealthCare. 2020;26 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.srhc.2020.100552
Objective: International and national intrapartum fetal monitoring guidelines recommend intermittent auscultation in low-risk women, and admission cardiotocography and continuous cardiotocography in high-risk women. The present study aimed to investigate fetal monitoring practices for low- and high-risk women in two hospitals in Norway, and if practice were according to national and international guidelines. Study design: To this cross sectional study, data on methods of fetal monitoring and women’s risk status were collected from the patient journals of 998 women with intended vaginal birth in 2017 and 2018. Main outcome measures: Type of fetal monitoring related to risk status. Results: On admission, 401 (40%) of the women were classified as low-risk and 597 (60%) as high-risk. An admission cardiotocography was reported for 327 (82%) low-risk women and 554 (93%) high-risk women. Of the low-risk women, 187 (47%) remained low-risk throughout labor. During labor, 99 (53%) of the women that remained low-risk were monitored with intermittent auscultation, 62 (33%) with cardiotocography, 24 (13%) with partial cardiotocography, and two (1%) had no monitoring documented. In the high-risk women, intermittent auscultation was used for 11 (2%) during labor, cardiotocography for 544 (91%), partial cardiotocography for 35 (6%), and seven (1%) women had no monitoring documented. Conclusions: The majority of low-risk women had an admission cardiotocography and during labor many lowrisk women were monitored with continuous cardiotocography. This is not in accordance with guidelines which recommend intermittent auscultation. In addition, almost one-tenth of high-risk women were not monitored with continuous cardiotocography, as recommended.