Definitions for "Fetal distress"
A condition, usually discovered in labor, in which the fetal heartbeat follows an abnormal pattern. The fetal heartbeat is recorded using electronic fetal monitoring. The acid balance of the fetal blood is measured, and labor is allowed to continue if it falls within prescribed ranges, and the abnormal heartbeat does not recur or persist. If nescessary, attempts will be made to stabilize the fetus by administering oxygen to the mother, increasing her fluid intake or prescribing an agent to help the uterus relax. In some cases a cesarean section may be required.
is a term generally used to describe hypoxia, or lack of oxygen. Hypoxia can result in damage or death if not reversed or the fetus delivered immediately. The signs of fetal distress include a slow heartbeat and the absence of fetal movement.
A rapid change in the baby's activity or heartbeat, or me conium-stained amniotic fluid is considered fetal distress which indicates that the baby's life may be in danger; most often as a result of too little oxygen.