The acid-base balance in 307 Chinese patients in labour was studied in Tsan Yuk Hospital, Hong Kong over a 15-month period. Fifty-six of these were normal cases, 200 cases exhibited clinical signs of foetal distress and the other fifty-one were high risk cases. The results showed that cases of clinical foetal distress had a significantly lower foetal pH than that in the normal control group. Of the different signs of clinical foetal distress, meconium was the least important and foetal tachycardia appeared to be more significant than the others. Cases of postmaturity and uterine inertia also gave a lower foetal pH than normal. It is concluded that foetal blood sampling is indicated in these types of cases.
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