Fetal blood sampling (FBS) should be advised in the presence of a pathological fetal heart rate (FHR) trace unless there is clear evidence of acute compromise (i.e. immediate delivery is thought necessary).
Where there is clear evidence of acute fetal compromise (for example, a prolonged deceleration for more than 3 minutes), FBS should not be undertaken and urgent preparations to expedite birth should be made.
FBS equipment varies from hospital to hospital, and you should familiarise yourself with the available kit before proceeding.
When you have completed this tutorial you will be able to:
- identify the indications for FBS
- carry out the necessary pre-requisites for FBS
- carry out the procedure for FBS
- interpret the results of the FBS test
- understand the contraindications for FBS.
This tutorial was written by Miss Roshan Zeirideen Zaid MRCOG, Zakia Balghari MRCOG, Wasim Lodhi MRCOG and Mr Wai Yoong FRCOG.
Last updated December 2015.