Health Book Citation

Variable decelerations may be classified according to their depth and duration as mild when the depth is above 80 bpm and the duration is less than 30 seconds. Believed to be an abnormal fhr pattern late decelerations indicate a reduction in heart rate usually after a uterine contraction.

Late Decelerations Explained

The usual cause of the late deceleration is uteroplacental insufficiency.

Decels in labor. Once deceleration starts it takes about 20 to 30 seconds to reach its lowest point. What they mean while caring for a patient in labor one of the important nursing duties is monitoring the variability of the fetal heart rate fhr and monitoring the fhr response during contractions. The top line is monitoring the baby s heart rate and the bottom line is monitoring mom s contractions.

Variable decelerations happen when the baby s umbilical cord is. Variable decelerations are irregular often jagged dips in the fetal heart rate that look more dramatic than late decelerations. The picture above is known as an early decelerations.

They are caused by decreased blood flow to the placenta and can signify an impending fetal acidemia. It is oftentimes detected through an abnormal fetal heart rate. Definition of variable decelerations visually apparent abrupt decrease onset of deceleration to low point 30 seconds in the fetal heart rate below baseline at least 15 beats lasting between 15 seconds to 2 minutes.

Historically the term fetal distress has been used to describe when the fetus does not receive adequate amounts of oxygen during pregnancy or labor. What causes late decels in labor. On the bottom line mom s contraction you can see that the line start to go up and then down this means mom is having a contraction.

Moderate when the depth is between. Typically late decelerations are shallow with slow onset and gradual return to normal baseline. This detects changes in the normal fhr pattern at the time of labor reassuring your obstetrician if it s safe to proceed.

Variability in the fhr during labor is a sign of fetal well being or fetal activity or both. However while the term fetal distress is commonly used it is not well defined.

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