Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
nonreassuring fetal status
abnormal fetal heart rate or rhythm on electronic monitoring, suggesting fetal ischemia.
Synonym(s): fetal distress
a compromised condition of the fetus, usually discovered during labor, characterized by a markedly abnormal rate or rhythm of myocardial contraction. Some patterns, such as late decelerations of the fetal heart rate seen on records of electronic fetal monitoring, are indicative of fetal distress. If possible, the cause of the situation is identified and corrected and the acid-base balance of the fetal blood is tested. Labor is allowed to continue if the pH is within normal range and if the abnormal pattern does not recur or persist. Cesarean section may be necessary if the fetus is markedly alkalotic or acidotic or if the cause of the problem cannot be corrected. If possible, the condition of the baby is stabilized before delivery by giving the mother oxygen; increased fluids; or a narcotic antagonist, a vasopressor, or an agent to relax the uterus. A pediatrician or neonatologist is required to attend the birth of a distressed baby to manage resuscitation and care immediately after delivery.
A nonspecific clinical diagnosis indicating pathology in the fetus. The distress, which may be due to lack of oxygen, is judged by fetal heart rate or biochemical changes in the amniotic fluid or fetal blood.
See also: distress