13. Fetal Pulse Oximetry

  1. Yehuda Ginosar4,
  2. Felicity Reynolds5,
  3. Stephen Halpern MD, MSc, FRCPC6,7 and
  4. Carl P. Weiner8,9
  1. Paul B. Colditz MB BS, FRACP, M Biomed Eng D Phil1 and
  2. Christine East PhD2,3

Published Online: 17 DEC 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118477076.ch13

Anesthesia and the Fetus

Anesthesia and the Fetus

How to Cite

Colditz, P. B. and East, C. (2013) Fetal Pulse Oximetry, in Anesthesia and the Fetus (eds Y. Ginosar, F. Reynolds, S. Halpern and C. P. Weiner), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118477076.ch13

Editor Information

  1. 4

    Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel

  2. 5

    Dental Schools of Guy's and St Thomas' Hospitals, London, UK

  3. 6

    Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

  4. 7

    Obstetrical Anesthesia, Sunnybroook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

  5. 8

    Obstetrics and Gynecology, Kansas City, USA

  6. 9

    Molecular and Integrative Physiology, University of Kansas, School of Medicine, Kansas City, USA

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of Queensland, Perinatal Research Centre, Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, Brisbane, Australia

  2. 2

    University of Melbourne Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Department of Perinatal Medicine Pregnancy Research Centre, Royal Women's Hospital, Victoria, Australia

  3. 3

    School of Nursing and Midwifery, Monash University, Southern Health, Victoria, Australia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 17 DEC 2012
  2. Published Print: 20 JAN 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781444337075

Online ISBN: 9781118477076



  • Fetal monitoring;
  • fetal pulse oximetry;
  • intrapartum monitoring


Fetal pulse oximetry allows direct non-invasive measurement of fetal oxygen saturation to assess the ability of a fetus to cope with the stress of labor. Sensor design has evolved to overcome the relative inaccessibility of the fetus during labor and the low saturation values that are a feature of fetal circulation. Clinical studies have demonstrated that fetal oxygen saturation alters with maternal position and maternal oxygen administration, but not with epidural analgesia. Although the value of fetal pulse oximetry in determining urgency of delivery has been established, clinical use has declined due to the lack of influence on overall cesarean section rates.