I am reading AWHONN's publication on fetal heart rate auscultation. I think I would love to make it a mission of mine to teach nurses and hospitals more about the benefits and safety of this method of listening to the baby's heart rate. So, for my own studies, I thought I'd include some info here. First off, we need to define what normal(or category I)characteristics for the fetal heart rate would be if using the auscultation method would be.
These characteristics include:
1. A baseline fetal heart rate between 110-160 bpm
2. A regular rhythm
3. The presense of increases or accelerations from the baseline rate
4. No decreases or decelerations from the baseline
Indeterminate or Category II characteristics include:
1. Irregular rhythm
2. Decreases or decelerations from the baseline
3. Tachycardia(baseline >160 bpm >10m in duration)
4. Bradycardia(<110 bpm >10m in duration)
Normal fetal heart rate characteristics are associated with a well oxygenated baby. Indeterminate simply means that one or more characteristics is not normal. This describes the data obtained, but does not necessarily apply to fetal or newborn status.
I would think that an indetermintate status would lead a clinician to obtain more accurate data to determine the status of the baby.