Electronic fetal monitoring (EFM) is a popular technology used to establish fetal well-being. Despite its widespread use, terminology used to describe patterns seen on the monitor has not been consistent until recently. In 1997, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Research Planning Workshop published guidelines for interpretation of fetal tracings. This publication was the culmination of 2 years of work by a panel of experts in the field of fetal monitoring and has been endorsed by both the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN). The terminology definitions and assumptions found in the NICHD publication form the basis for interpretation of the fetal tracings in this series and are summarized here. Normal values for arterial umbilical cord gas values and indications of acidosis are defined in the TableT1.

Decelerations are tentatively called recurrent...

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