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Communicating fetal heart rate

Communication among staff members in hospital is vital no matter the procedure, but what happens if you were speaking a different language to your colleagues?

This is a challenge facing midwives and obstetricians when interpreting fetal heart rates using a CTG machine. Fetal heart rate monitoring is a screening tool usually used during labour to see if a baby is distressed.


Clinicians have different definitions for different changes in a baby’s heart rate, which understandably causes confusion.

Helen Cooke is a Clinical Midwifery Consultant at NSW Pregnancy and Newborn Services Network who has implemented a training program to get clinicians to speak the same language when interpreting fetal heart rates.

Producer: Ellen Leabeater

Image: Christine Tran on Flickr.

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