New fetal monitoring technology is helping to reduce stress levels in pregnant patients at Burnside War Memorial Hospital.
The Adelaide facility has recently introduced two cable-free monitoring systems which allow hospital staff to better monitor patients and their unborn baby's vital signs.
The new devices are worn by patients and are designed to alert hospital staff to any significant changes in fetal heart rate or the expectant mother's pulse.
It means Burnside patients can venture outside of their hospital rooms confident in the knowledge that their baby is being digitally watched at all times.
Obstetrician and Burnside Hospital Perinatal Committee chair Dr Karen Chandler said the technology was key to ensuring the hospital's maternity patients felt at ease throughout their pregnancy.
“The system allows midwives to monitor those patients who may be deemed as higher-risk patients, patients with high body mass index, and women with multiple pregnancies, to observe their vital signs and react if required,” Dr Chandler said.
“Should there be an issue, the midwives can connect the patient to the obstetrician – wherever he or she may be – and they can promptly determine any necessary actions.”
There are currently two different systems available at Burnside: the Philips Avalon Cableless Fetal and Maternal Monitoring System, and the IntelliSpace Perinatal information system.
The ISP device features an alarm system that alerts staff when observations are outside normal ranges. It allows doctors and staff members to access real-time assessments of the mother’s labour status via a range of devices including iPads.
Additionally, the new technology stores patient information to assist hospital staff in providing the best care throughout a patient's pregnancy and in later pregnancies.
“In this case it has the added benefit of reducing the stress for patients who may otherwise worry about the status of their babies, often to the detriment of their own health,” Dr Chandler said.
“It’s reassuring for patients and for those of us responsible for their treatment and care.”
Dr Chandler said the hospital's investment in the technology had allowed it to continue providing the highest quality of care for its patients.
“The technology is very important as a reinforcement that Burnside is offering state-of-the-art technology to support clinical decision-making and care."