Birth Small Talk

Talking about birth

Long-term cardiovascular outcomes of an abnormal fetal heart rate pattern in labour

Low oxygen levels in labour are considered to place the fetus at risk for permanent injury. One of the organs in the body that rely on high levels of oxygen supply is the heart. Physiological reflexes that manifest as CTG changes are, in part, protective for the fetal heart as they redirect blood from other parts of the body to the heart and brain.  Historically, low oxygen levels in labour […]

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New beginnings

This week marked the start of a new role for me. I have returned to full time clinical practice as a Director of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in a bustling regional town in New South Wales. This is a great opportunity for me to apply what I have learned as an educator and researcher to a clinical site. I am still coming to grips with what my working week will look […]

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Are intrapartum fetal monitoring guidelines fit for purpose?

One of the core assumptions that must be true in order for CTG monitoring to reduce perinatal harm from low oxygen levels, is that there must be recognisable CTG patterns that clinicians can consistently identify, and that are strongly associated with low oxygen levels in the fetus. Measuring oxygenation directly is tricky so alternative measures are generally used instead. Typically, acidosis is measured as low oxygen levels switch metabolic processes […]

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Does quality improvement improve quality in healthcare?

Aiming to provide care that is safe, effective, and acceptable to healthcare users is a fundamental cornerstone of healthcare services. A number of similar processes have been adopted in healthcare management, collectively known as continuous quality improvement. These processes aim to ensure that problems in care provision are identified, addressed, and resolved in a way that ensure continuous and ongoing improvements in the quality of care provided by healthcare services. […]

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