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Br J Obstet Gynaecol. 1993 Mar;100 Suppl 9:24-7.

Communicating the significance of the fetal heart rate record to the user.

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  • 1Nuffield Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, UK.


Fetal heart rate (FHR) records should be presented as measurements derived from numerical analysis. Such analysis requires computerized systems. The Oxford system is the longest established and most tested of the systems available. It could provide the basis for a standardized approach to the numerical analysis of antepartum FHR records. Intrapartum FHR monitoring is of uncertain clinical value. It is premature to recommend standards for numerical analysis to upgrade the present methods of data presentation during labour. Once the patterns of abnormality are better defined numerically such standards will be mandatory because intrapartum FHR records cannot be interpreted reliably by eye.

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