Another excellent and informative training day from Baby Lifeline
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I was once again lucky enough to attend a very interesting study day; 'CTG Masterclass', organised by Baby Lifeline. The course was led by Dr Edwin Chandraharan, lead consultant obstetrician at St George's Hospital, who explained the physiology, and pathophysiology, of a Cardiotocograph, or 'CTG' in labour.
The course was aimed at practising midwives and other healthcare professionals as well as lawyers and sought to provide evidence-based training on CTG interpretation and related medical intervention with the aim of reducing birth-related hypoxic injuries which in practice can of course be devastating for any family.
A CTG monitor is used in labour to assess the well-being of the foetus; in particular the effects of labour, specifically contractions, on the heart of the foetus. By gaining an understanding of the physiological meaning of the CTG waveforms, the practitioner can interpret these to determine how well the foetus is dealing with the stress of labour and importantly, if there is any evidence of hypoxia (lack of oxygen) or significant distress, that might indicate that intervention is required, for example Caesarean Section.
I arrived at the venue with some trepidation; although I have a nursing/ medical background I do not have experience in midwifery or neonatal nursing. I needn't have worried; the representatives from Baby Lifeline made us all feel very welcome and the course objectives were clearly defined by Dr Chandraharan. The aim of the day was to start from a review of the basic physiology of the foetus and how this is interpreted through the CTG. In fact I may have been at an advantage with little or no existing knowledge of CTGs because I got the impression that the midwife delegates, in some aspects, were having to look at CTGs from a different perspective than perhaps they had done previously.
Dr Chandraharan used compelling evidence to illustrate best-practice. He highlighted aspects of the NICE guidelines on Intrapartum Care which should perhaps be interpreted with caution although it was encouraging to note that the guidelines were evolving (slowly) to reflect the evidence base for best practice. I can honestly say I learnt a great deal from this study day and the course content was presented very effectively indeed.
Sadly, avoidable traumatic birth injuries continue to occur due to hypoxic injuries during labour, this course will be invaluable to me in my practice when interpreting medical records however, more importantly, I am heartened to know that so many doctors and midwives are keen to improve their knowledge in order to prevent as many avoidable birth injuries as possible. It is also encouraging to know that Baby Lifeline and their associates are in a position to facilitate this.
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