Philips has announced that mothers bearing triplets can now have all the fetal monitoring they’re entitled to, with the new Avalon antepartum and intrapartum monitors. Yes, we’re reminded of that bold, shining day when we learned Gilette would make a razor with three blades — and everyone who was getting by with two blades suddenly felt jealous and inadequate:
Two features help clinicians sort out multiple fetal heart traces. Trace Separation was pioneered by Philips for twins monitoring and has now been expanded for triplets monitoring with the new Avalon FM20 and FM30 monitors. Trace Separation allows users to stack multiple traces along the vertical scale, which adjusts to ensure the traces can be read clearly. Users can also assign a different line thickness to each fetal heart rate trace.
The Transducer Finder feature identifies which transducer is monitoring each heart rate. When a user selects any fetal heart rate on the monitor display, the corresponding transducer lights up.
Both Avalon FM20 and FM30 track maternal blood pressure, pulse and uterine activity. The Avalon FM30 also monitors maternal SpO2 and ECG. It covers patients from the onset of contractions through the final stages of delivery with its full set of external and internal fetal parameters, such as ultrasound and direct fetal heart rate, toco and intrauterine pressure.
We know the literature supporting all this fetal monitoring for low-risk pregnancies is scant, but triplets may just be tricky enough to warrant a purchase. Still, we suspect the motivation for tertiary hospitals upgrading to Philips’ new system is more based on vanity than evidence.
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