New specialist heart rate monitoring machine for Maternity Unit

21 February 2020

The maternity team at Kingston Hospital has celebrated delivery of a new fetal heart rate monitoring device to further improve care during labour and birth.

Most women have safe labours and birth without intervention but sometimes new technology can make a real difference to outcomes.  A new device introduced at Kingston Hospital’s maternity unit aims to do just that.

The ST-Analyser (STAN) machines introduced recently  electronically analyse the heart rate patterns of babies during labour and birth, which helps provide additional information to improve decision-making with a view to reducing unnecessary intervention during labour.

The new machines are particularly useful for women with more complex labours. By providing information to the midwives and obstetricians safe delivery can be undertaken when the baby is at risk, for example with emergency Caesarean, but intervention confidently avoided when it is not needed.

Gina Brockwell, Director of Midwifery at the Hospital says: “We have done lots of work to continuously improve safety during childbirth which has included the launch of an innovative training programme for the maternity team.  The importance of this was recognised by the award of a national Health Service Journal Award for Improving Outcomes through Learning and Development”.

Annabelle Keegan, who is a lead midwife in the maternity unit said: “We are all very excited about the introduction of this new system. It will really help towards improving the care offered to families due to increased surveillance of the fetal heart rate. This will provide extra reassurance for women and their families.”

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