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News1992October › Foetal tests: complications › October 1992

Foetal tests: complications

Foetal scalp monitoring can trigger complications such as trauma, haemorrhage and infection which can even lead to death, warns a US study team

Foetal scalp monitoring can trigger complications such as trauma, haemorrhage and infection which can even lead to death, warns a US study team.

While monitoring the foetal heart rate through scalp electronics is common in obstetric care, four cases of infection were noted by the study team from 282 infants delivered in one month. Of those, 195 had been monitored with scalp electrodes.

The incidence of infection can be anything up to 4.5 per cent, warns the study team, John Leatherman, Michael Parchman and Frank Lawler, all of the University of Oklahoma. Infection can occur up to one month after birth.

They urge doctors to be more aware of the dangers of infection and to take preventive precautions,recognize infection and begin therapy.


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