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Obstetric update: Antepartum assessment of the foetus and its environment

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Until recently the practice of high-risk obstetrics has been limited because of the inability to assess the perinate directly. The application of dynamic ultrasound now enables both structural and functional assessment of the foetus and its environment. Thus it is now possible to begin to transfer the principles of physical diagnosis used in extrauterine medicine to the foetus in utero. This major advance has resulted in a four- to six-fold decrease in foetal death rate, a detection of anomalies approaching 80 per cent, as well creating opportunities to reduce maternal and foetal morbidity associated with anomalies, and detection of almost all growth retarded foetuses and twins. Technical procedures have been greatly facilitated. Despite these advances, however, it is likely that the greatest positive influence of the technique will be the recognition and management of the foetus as a separate patient.


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Correspondence to Frank A. Manning.

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Manning, F.A. Obstetric update: Antepartum assessment of the foetus and its environment. Can Anaesth Soc J 30, 88–90 (1983). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03007724

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  • Oxytocin
  • Foetal Death Rate
  • Amniotic Fluid Volume
  • Foetal Weight Estimate
  • Foetal Heart Rate Monitoring