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REVIEW  UPDATES ON MATERNAL FETAL MEDICINE 

Minerva Ginecologica 2019 April;71(2):91-6

DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4784.18.04336-8

Copyright © 2018 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Errors and pitfalls in reading the cardiotocographic tracing

Mariarosaria DI TOMMASO 1 , Viola SERAVALLI 1, Felice PETRAGLIA 2

1 Department of Health Sciences, University of Florence, Florence, Italy; 2 Department of Clinical and Experimental Biomedical Sciences, University of Florence, Florence, Italy



Reading of fetal heart rate (FHR) tracing during labor remains one of the most controversial and problematic issues in Obstetrics. The incorrect interpretation of CTG can be due to errors and pitfalls. Some common errors are related to the incorrect use of oxytocin, specifically the failure to recognize tachysystole, to correct it and to use oxytocin to accelerate labor when the fetal heart rate tracing is not reassuring. A common error is also the incorrect interpretation of deceleration that leads to unnecessary and often dangerous interventions, despite the clarification of the significance of decelerations, which in themselves are not a sign of impending acidosis, except when they are accompanied by loss of variability. Another potential error that can be identified as a pitfall is the transition from fetal to maternal heart rate (MHR) recording. The misidentification of MHR as FHR can potentially mask pathological FHR traces, appearing as a falsely reassuring trace.


KEY WORDS: Cardiotocography - Medical errors - Systole

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