Leleka Maternity Hospital is a modern and innovative healthcare facility, the main focus of which is the safety and health of mothers and their babies. The maternity hospital has all the necessary equipment and medication to monitor the condition of expectant mothers and their babies, as well as to provide the entire scope of the emergency medicine.
It’s natural that the result of childbirth should be the birth of a healthy baby. As known, due to various reasons, the fetus can experience hypoxia during childbirth, the so-called fetal distress. Therefore, the primary objective for medical staff is to monitor the condition of the fetus during childbirth and respond to pathological changes in a timely manner,” says Nataliia Shemiakina, the Head of the Department of Obstetrics at Leleka Maternity Hospital.
The basic method for monitoring the condition of the fetus is cardiotocography (CTG), the assessment of the fetal heart rate. Leleka Maternity Hospital uses the Sonicaid Central Station system, with the help of which we can continuously monitor the condition of the fetuses in all parturient women in the delivery rooms at the same point of time. The method has proved its value from the first days of its use, since it allows the medical staff to monitor the heart rate of the fetuses at all workplaces where the observation screens are installed, and immediately respond to the recorded pathological changes. All Sonicaid devices are equipped with programs analysing STV during labor (an indicator which the program calculates and assesses the condition of the fetus as objectively as possible according to heart rate variability), which is very informative for doubtful CTG.
The second step towards rapid diagnosis of the fetal condition is the introduction of fetal pulse oximetry during labor for the first time in Ukraine. With the help of a special device developed by Japanese scientists, we are able to determine the fetal oxygen saturation in less than a minute. The method is safe and non-invasive. It has no restrictions on the amount of use per patient and gives good results. A special sensor is put on the doctor’s finger. During a vaginal examination the sensor is applied to the head of the fetus. It has been observed that the fetal pulse oximetry parameters correlate with the condition of the fetus after birth.
The third step is the hospital’s recent acquisition — Lactate Scout — the equipment for blood sampling from the presenting head of the fetus and for measuring lactate. It is an objective and accurate method to diagnose fetal distress during labor and is currently available worldwide. The method is invasive. Therefore, it is used when strictly indicated. However, the results include a decreased incidence of caesarean sections with normal lactate levels and a decreased incidence of asphyxia during labor with timely diagnosis and childbirth. The technique is convenient and easy to use, with minimal risk to patients and as accurate as possible.
It is necessary to monitor the condition of the fetus not only during childbirth but also during pregnancy, especially in high risk patients. The Sense4baby device, a portable CTG device, can help with that. Dozens of patients in our hospital have already taken advantage of this device and are satisfied with the results. Firstly, it is convenient for patients since they do not have to constantly visit a healthcare facility. It is also convenient for a doctor since he/she can assess the condition of the fetus at any time of the day regardless of the patient’s place of stay. Secondly, it is the patients’ peace of mind who have the opportunity to check the heartbeat of the their desired and expected unborn child and make sure that everything is fine. Sense4baby is actively used in the maternity hospital, which results in calm patients and healthy babies.
Another monitoring device during pregnancy is a machine to record fetal ECG. The device was developed by Ukrainian scientists. It allows us to record in parallel the ECG of the mother and the fetus, and a special program selects only the fetal complexes. This technique makes it possible to assess the rhythm and heart rate, as well as to diagnose arrhythmias and changes in fetal heart rate variability.
All these techniques have one common goal — to timely diagnose and give the opportunity to quickly respond to pathological changes in the fetus. After all, a healthy baby and happy parents are our main purpose and responsibility!