The Biophysical Profile: Antepartal Assessment of Fetal Well Being

Authors

  • CATHY L. GEBAUER RN, MS,

    Corresponding author
    1. Cathy L. Gebauer is nurse coordinator of the Preterm Birth Prevention Program at the Ohio State University Hospitals in Columbus, Ohio. She is a member of AWHONN (formerly NAACOG).
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  • NANCY K. LOWE RN, PhD

    1. Nancy K. Lowe is an assistant professor in the Department of Life Span Process, College of Nursing, the Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio. She is a member of AWHONN (formerly NAACOG).
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Address for correspondence: Cathy L. Gebauer, RN, MS, 2C Ob/Gyn Clinic, 456 W. 10th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210.

Abstract

The assessment of fetal well-being is a primary consideration for perinatal nurses. The biophysical profile is a clinical evaluation of the status of the fetus based on assessment of multiple discrete variables. This article describes current biophysical profile scoring systems, the physiologic basis of the fetal variables, and factors that may affect the variables. It also discusses issues related to future applications and refinement of the biophysical profile, as well as nursing implications of the technology.

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