Neonatology pp 105-127 | Cite as

Diagnosis of Fetal Distress

  • Silvia Vannuccini
  • Caterina Bocchi
  • Filiberto Maria SeveriEmail author
  • Felice Petraglia
Reference work entry


Fetal distress is a very broad term, which can be used in many clinical situations. Although it is difficult to give a precise clinical definition, obstetricians usually use this term to indicate that the fetus is becoming hypoxic. Immediate delivery has to be considered, because neurological damage may occur when the fetal brain is deprived of oxygen. Antepartum fetal testing is used to assess hypoxia in high-risk pregnancies and monitoring during labor supplies information on the status of the fetus prior to birth. However, knowledge of the fetal responses to asphyxia, together with the known evolution of fetal heart rate patterns, should allow a more accurate definition of its onset and a more rational management and timing for intervention.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Silvia Vannuccini
    • 1
  • Caterina Bocchi
    • 1
  • Filiberto Maria Severi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Felice Petraglia
    • 1
  1. 1.Obstetrics and Gynecology, Department of Molecular and Developmental MedicineUniversity of SienaSienaItaly

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