A new research project may provide doctors better information about birth oxygen levels and prevent unnecessary C-sections that can cause damage. MedicalXpress reports.
One of the reasons doctors perform emergency C-sections is when a baby’s heart rate becomes abnormal. However, in as many as 60% of cases, those abnormalities weren’t serious. They were just responses to the stress of labor.
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The real danger of an abnormal heartbeat is that it can be a sign that there isn’t enough oxygen. This can cause brain damage. There are two other techniques that can prove whether or not a baby is oxygenated. The current gold standard is to take a little blood from the scalp of the fetus and check the pH. However, despite its status, it takes time to get results and there are questions about validity and reliability.
Another test, called fetal scalp stimulation, is faster, less invasive, and can be used in emergency situations. However, it hasn’t been tested whether or not this technique works as well or better than blood sampling.
This is what the researchers hope to find out. They will perform a multi-hospital randomized controlled trial to see how the two techniques stack up. If FSS proves itself, it can help save lives and prevent unnecessary surgeries.