Fetal scalp sampling

Fetal scalp sampling is sometimes carried out in an attempt to evaluate the well-being of an infant during delivery. A study from Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida, indicates that physicians may obtain the same information utilizing other methods which involve less risk to the infant.
Monitoring the fetal heart rate provided as much information as scalp sampling in most patients, although the researchers feel that sampling is called for in a few cases.
Complications from scalp sampling include transmission of such infections as HIV, herpes, and streptococcus, abscess formation and excessive bleeding. Furthermore, accidents are common during the procedure and amniotic fluid contamination and abnormalities of the maternal pH may lead to inaccurate results. (Obstetrics and Gynecology News 27(1)1, 21, January 1, 1992)
Copyright 1992 Phylis Austin

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