Fetal Monitor

In almost one third of all childbirths, doctors and parents have a period of uncertainty due to an abnormal heart rate pattern in the fetal monitor. Doctors traditionally scrape the baby’s scalp, while still in the womb, for a blood sample, opening up the possibility for serious infections. However, a new device offers a non-invasive way and with better results for mom and baby.

Priscilla remembers the birth of her first child fondly. “He came out naturally. We just had to wait. I wasn’t worried,” she says.

The second time was not as smooth. The baby’s vital signs during labor worried doctors. A new fetal monitor called Oxifirst put her mind and body at ease — and prevented a C-section.

Perinatologist says the device helps eliminate guesswork.

“We found out we were doing a lot of Caesarian sections for fetal heart rate traces that did not look good but the babies were fine,” says Dr. Fuentes.

The monitor is inserted through the cervix into the woman’s uterus.

“A small catheter that is placed against the baby’s skin once the membranes are ruptured. And it’s a small, little light, a little red light, that is able to transmit the oxygen saturation of the blood,” says Dr. Fuentes.

Oxifirst provides a constant reading to help doctors determine if the baby is in danger.

Dr. Fuentes says, “[It is] much better for babies, much better for women, we hope, minimize the risks of a Caesarian section.”

It can even help calm the proud papas.

New father Jose Alcocer says, “He came very, very safe and very sound — a perfect baby.”

Because a lack of oxygen to the baby during delivery can cause brain damage, electronic fetal monitoring is used in more than 84 percent of all U.S. births. Oxifirst is a new device and is currently involved in clinical trials across the country.

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