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Fetal scalp blood; Scalp pH testing; Fetal blood testing - scalp
Normal fetal blood sample results are:
A fetal scalp blood pH level less than 7.20 is considered abnormal.
In general, low pH suggests that the baby does not have enough oxygen, which could mean that the baby is not tolerating labor very well. However, the results of a fetal scalp pH sample need to be interpreted in the context of each individual labor. The provider may feel that the results indicate that the baby needs to be delivered quickly, either by forceps or by cesarean section.
Fetal scalp pH testing may need to be repeated a few times during a complicated labor to continue to check on the baby.
Garite TJ. Intrapartum fetal evaluation. In: Gabbe SG, Niebyl JR, Simpson JL, eds. Obstetrics – Normal and Problem Pregnancies. 5th ed. New York, NY: Churchill Livingstone; 2007:chap 15.
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