A review of fetal cardiac monitoring, with a focus on low- And middle-income countries

Camilo E. Valderrama, Nasim Ketabi, Faezeh Marzbanrad, Peter Rohloff, Gari D. Clifford

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleOtherpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


There is limited evidence regarding the utility of fetal monitoring during pregnancy, particularly during labor and delivery. Developed countries rely on consensus 'best practices' of obstetrics and gynecology professional societies to guide their protocols and policies. Protocols are often driven by the desire to be as safe as possible and avoid litigation, regardless of the cost of downstream treatment. In high-resource settings, there may be a justification for this approach. In low-resource settings, in particular, interventions can be costly and lead to adverse outcomes in subsequent pregnancies. Therefore, it is essential to consider the evidence and cost of different fetal monitoring approaches, particularly in the context of treatment and care in low-to-middle income countries. This article reviews the standard methods used for fetal monitoring, with particular emphasis on fetal cardiac assessment, which is a reliable indicator of fetal well-being. An overview of fetal monitoring practices in low-to-middle income counties, including perinatal care access challenges, is also presented. Finally, an overview of how mobile technology may help reduce barriers to perinatal care access in low-resource settings is provided.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11TR01
Number of pages19
JournalPhysiological Measurement
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 7 Dec 2020

Cite this