• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of bmjLink to Publisher's site
BMJ. Aug 3, 1991; 303(6797): 269–271.
PMCID: PMC1670458

Effect of a fetal surveillance unit on admission of antenatal patients to hospital.


OBJECTIVE--To analyse the effect of a fetal surveillance unit, which undertakes a wide range of maternal and fetal tests on an outpatient or inpatient basis, on the number and length of antenatal hospital admissions. DESIGN--A comparison of the number and length of antenatal admissions six months before and five months after the opening of the unit on 1 July 1990. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Admission rate, antenatal bed occupancy, and interval from admission to discharge or delivery. RESULTS--The antenatal bed occupancy rate fell by 22% from 174/100 deliveries during the six months before the unit was opened to 136/100 deliveries in the five months after it was opened. The difference in distribution of lengths of admission after the unit was opened from before was highly significant (Mann-Whitney test = 5.14, n = 752 and 679; p less than 0.0001), and this was due to shorter intervals from admission to discharge and from admission to delivery. In contrast, the antenatal admission rate did not change significantly (50/100 deliveries v 49/100 deliveries). There was no significant change in the stillbirth rate (6/1294 births v 8/1372 births; difference between rates = 0.0012, 95% confidence interval-0.0043 to 0.0067). CONCLUSION--Obstetricians are more prepared to discharge antenatal patients from hospital and, similarly, admit patients for delivery rather than for assessment if the patients are reliably monitored on an outpatient basis. If this change in practice is sustained substantial financial and social benefits will result as well as improvements in organisation, audit, teaching, and research.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (666K), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Druzin ML. Antepartum fetal heart rate monitoring. State of the art. Clin Perinatol. 1989 Sep;16(3):627–642. [PubMed]
  • Dawes GS, Houghton CR, Redman CW, Visser GH. Pattern of the normal human fetal heart rate. Br J Obstet Gynaecol. 1982 Apr;89(4):276–284. [PubMed]
  • Manning FA. The fetal biophysical profile score: current status. Obstet Gynecol Clin North Am. 1990 Mar;17(1):147–162. [PubMed]
  • Trudinger BJ. The umbilical circulation. Semin Perinatol. 1987 Oct;11(4):311–321. [PubMed]
  • Campbell S, Diaz-Recasens J, Griffin DR, Cohen-Overbeek TE, Pearce JM, Willson K, Teague MJ. New doppler technique for assessing uteroplacental blood flow. Lancet. 1983 Mar 26;1(8326 Pt 1):675–677. [PubMed]
  • Crowther CA, Neilson JP, Verkuyl DA, Bannerman C, Ashurst HM. Preterm labour in twin pregnancies: can it be prevented by hospital admission? Br J Obstet Gynaecol. 1989 Jul;96(7):850–853. [PubMed]
  • De Bono M, Fawdry RD, Lilford RJ. Size of trials for evaluation of antenatal tests of fetal wellbeing in high risk pregnancy. J Perinat Med. 1990;18(2):77–87. [PubMed]

Articles from BMJ : British Medical Journal are provided here courtesy of BMJ Group


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


  • PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...