For expectant mothers, there is something oddly comforting about being connected to a fetal monitor. Receiving real-time information about a baby’s heart rate while simultaneously monitoring contractions in the mother has become the standard of care in hospitals around the world. However, this was not always the case.
Fetal heart sounds were first detected in the 1600’s. However, the idea of monitoring a fetus in utero went largely unnoticed until the 1800’s when Evory Kennedy, an English physician, began realizing you could determine a fetus’s health by listening to its heart rate. By the turn of the 20th century, electronic fetal monitoring began allowing physicians to detect head and cord compression through fluctuations in a fetus’s heart rate. Today, real-time monitoring allows doctors and nurses to not only track fetal distress, but the mother’s labor progression.
Today’s standard of care for laboring women depends on the environment and the risk factors for the mother and baby. For many women laboring without medication, it is possible for providers to periodically listen to the fetal heart rate, a process known as auscultation. However, for women laboring in hospitals or those who are using pain relieving medication, electronic fetal monitoring is considered the standard of care.
Industry leaders in fetal monitors, Bionet, Corometrics, Covidien, Edan Instruments, GE Medical, Huntleigh, MDPRO, Natus Neurology, Summit Doppler, Wallach offer instruments with a wide variety of sizes and capabilities. From twin view monitors with USB capability to antepartum monitors with onboard printers, Foremost Medical Equipment not only sells new and refurbished fetal monitors but is also a purveyor of cables, carrying cases, carts and stands, paper, transducers and accessories. All products are patient ready, calibrated and safety checked to manufacturer’s specifications. Use them the first day, right out of the box.