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Fetal blood testing

Fetal blood testing


Fetal blood testing is performed during labor to test the blood pH of the baby which can determine its well-being during delivery. A small puncture is made in the scalp and fetal blood droplets are collected in a thin glass tube. Testing the scalp pH can help your doctor decide if your fetus is getting enough oxygen during labor. This helps determine if your baby is healthy enough to continue labor, or if a forceps delivery or Cesarean section might be the best route of delivery.

Review Date 8/30/2014

Updated by: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.