Electronic fetal heart rate monitoring is a widely utilized means of assessment of fetal status during labor. Whereas little evidence exists regarding efficacy, this modality continues to be used extensively in every modern labor and delivery unit in developed countries. It is of importance that all providers of health care to the woman in labor and her newborn have a clear understanding of the basic pathophysiology of fetal heart rate monitoring and an appreciation for labor course and concerns as they arise in order to optimize outcomes and patient safety.





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