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Definition of Fetal distress

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Fetal distress: Compromise of a fetus during the antepartum period (before labor) or intrapartum period (during the birth process). The term fetal distress is commonly used to describe fetal hypoxia (low oxygen levels in the fetus), which can result in fetal damage or death if it is not reversed or if the fetus is not promptly delivered. Fetal distress can be detected via abnormal slowing of labor, changes in fetal heart rate, the presence of meconium (dark green fecal material from the fetus) or other abnormal substances in the amniotic fluid, or fetal monitoring with an electronic device that shows a fetal scalp pH of less than 7.2.

SLIDESHOW

Conception: The Amazing Journey from Egg to Embryo See Slideshow
Reviewed on 12/12/2018

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