Developing Novel Devices to Detect Fetal Distress
Free Public Lecture
Peter Doherty Institute
T: (03) 8344 8405
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Pregnancy and birth are among the most dangerous days of your life. Stillbirth tragically ends 3 million pregnancies globally every year and fetal asphyxia inflicted by labour is a leading cause of neonatal seizures, cerebral palsy and death.
While the causes of stillbirth and fetal asphyxia in labour are heterogenous, perhaps there is a common pathway of fetal distress linking them. Unfortunately measures of fetal wellbeing during pregnancy and direct measures of fetal distress during labour are intermittent, and often miss the critical point when a life-saving birth could be performed. Excitingly, together with a multidisciplinary team of biomedical engineers, physicists, chemical engineers and clinicians, researchers at the University of Melbourne are developing devices to continuously measure fetal distress in pregnancy and measure a direct marker of fetal distress during labour.