Just curious...scalp pH...Still doing them?


Hey all,

Haven't posted in a while, well because I have been just a little busy lately.

Anyhow, just curious how many of you all still do scalp pH to evaluate fetal well being? Also have many of you worked with the fetal pulse ox? Do you like it or find it a bit cumbersome?

Seem see a lot of disagreement on strip interpretation lately, wondering how you all eval or back it up?



20,964 Posts

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis. Has 26 years experience.

nope. if a strip looks that bad and a fetus does not respond to intrauterine resuscitation, the doctors call it. i have not seen a scalp pH in years. They DO accomplish cord pH however, immed. upon delivery, to see how compromised the newborn is likely to be.


1,804 Posts

No scalp pH's. We threw away the machine years ago. We do lots of fetal SPO2 monitoring. One Ob loves the fetal pulse ox. I think she tapes it to her hubby's face when he sleeps. I think it's ok for lates, but if you're having big-time variables, I am just afraid you could have a kiddie being strangle by the cord if he descends rapidly. I had a bad, very bad experience where baby was entagled in his cord several times and it is something I 'll never ever forget.


7 Posts

I haven't seen a scalp pH in a while. I think that some teaching facilities are using it just to teach the residents. But even when we would do it, the sample was always clotted and could never be read--useless. I think everyone has decided that it's just not good info anymore as there are other ways of determining acidosis without cutting the fetus' scalp open.

If it were me, I would never consent to a scalp pH--cut me instead, not my baby!



231 Posts

Thanks for the responces!

I haven;t seen it used for bout 4 years and agree wasn't reliable. Just have seen ALOT of disagreement over strips nurse and house say bad strip, attending doesn't agree, I just document my ass off, but would love to have someother backup.

Curious what happens w/ the variables, doesn't record low sats or what. I have only used it acouple of times, don't have it where I work right now.


33 Posts

It became hard for us to obtain the scalp gas kits so we got away from using them. If I loose all signs of fetal well being I am then calling the doctor to come and review strip and as an incentive to get him up there to look at it I am not above saying "Doctor, I am charting that I have called you to come." I work the night shift in a small rural hospital with no in house OR or anesthesia I use whatever means necessary to get care for my patient.

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