How to Read a Cardiotocography (CTG)?

While a woman is pregnant, she has to undertake difference tests. Some of them are related to her own health while the others are done in order to monitor the health of the baby. One of the monitoring techniques which are done for fetus so that doctor could monitor thing such as contractions of the uterus and fetal heart, is called Cardiotocography. This procedure is done with the help of a large machine on which there is a contraction monitor which enable you to see the readings and this graph is called a cardiotocograph. Now there are different steps or stages of pregnancy called trimesters, this is used when a woman is in her third trimester. This test is used to ensure that the fetus is doing alright and if there is any kind of distress, this monitor will indicate that. In this article, we are discuss the procedure of cardiotocography in detail.

Cardiotocography Procedure:

Since I have already mentioned that this is done with the help of a machine called cardiotocograph and it has contraction monitor to get the readings, you got to have a good knowledge on the usage of the machine. You can learn that either during your medical practice or simply get the machine manual to get the instructions and use it. Once done with that, following are the steps involved in the procedure.

  1. You have got two transducers with the machine and these are needed to be attached to the abdomen of a women who is pregnant.
  2. There are two transducers because one of them has the responsibility of measuring the contractions of the uterus while the other one functions using the ultrasound and it monitors fetal heart rate.
  3. For this procedure, tension in the abdomens in important otherwise, none of these functions can be performed.

Once done with this procedure, a reading comes through a printer in the machine and a doctor reads that for the reports.

Cardiotocography Readings:

Now here is how you read a CTG or following are the readings which we do with this procedure.

how to read a cardiotocography

Contractions:

Take 10 minutes as an interval and in this period, record the total number of contractions. Since you can’t estimate the time, know that one big square present on the graph equals one minute so for ten minutes, you will need to take 10 squares. Then for duration you will need to see whether for how long did it last and also the intensity whether how strong were the contractions. And this is how you make your first cardiotocograph reading.

Baseline Rate:

This is another thing which can be read from the cardiotocograph. From baseline rate we mean the average heart rate of the fetus and it is very important to be measured. The best time window which you can take for measuring the average rate is 10 minutes which can again be assessed by taking 10 big squares. Take heart rate for these 10 minutes and then take out the average and this is it.

So, in this article, you learned in detail about cardiotocography and how do you read a CTG. If you have any question related to the topic, you are welcome to ask. Keep visiting Medics Center for amazing medical stuff.

Hi, This is Hamza Khan from Peshawar, Pakistan. I am a 2nd prof MBBS Student at Bannu Medical College and a hobby Blogger. The Purpose of this site is to share my knowledge and Guide new Medical Students.

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