Fetal health surveillance: antepartum and intrapartum consensus guideline

Robert Liston, Diane Sawchuck, David Young
Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada: JOGC 2007, 29 (9 Suppl 4): S3-56

OBJECTIVE: This guideline provides new recommendations pertaining to the application and documentation of fetal surveillance in the antepartum and intrapartum period that will decrease the incidence of birth asphyxia while maintaining the lowest possible rate of obstetrical intervention. Pregnancies with and without risk factors for adverse perinatal outcomes are considered. This guideline presents an alternative classification system for antenatal fetal non-stress testing and intrapartum electronic fetal surveillance to what has been used previously. This guideline is intended for use by all health professionals who provide antepartum and intrapartum care in Canada.

OPTIONS: Consideration has been given to all methods of fetal surveillance currently available in Canada.

OUTCOMES: Short- and long-term outcomes that may indicate the presence of birth asphyxia were considered. The associated rates of operative and other labour interventions were also considered.

EVIDENCE: A comprehensive review of randomized controlled trials published between January 1996 and March 2007 was undertaken, and MEDLINE and the Cochrane Database were used to search the literature for all new studies on fetal surveillance both antepartum and intrapartum. The level of evidence has been determined using the criteria and classifications of the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care.

SPONSOR: This consensus guideline was jointly developed by the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada and the British Columbia Perinatal Health Program (formerly the British Columbia Reproductive Care Program or BCRCP) and was partly supported by an unrestricted educational grant from the British Columbia Perinatal Health Program.

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