A pregnant woman who has undergone what appears to be minor trauma is usually monitored for several hours after the event. The presence of certain findings during this initial period indicates a woman who should be monitored for a longer period.


Warning signs justifying continued observation in a pregnant woman who has been injured:

(1) > 4 uterine contractions per hour

(2) fetal heart rate decelerations, particularly with late decelerations

(3) absence of short-term and long-term fetal heart rate variability

(4) fetal heart rate abnormalities (bradycardia with rate < 120 beats per minute; tachycardia with rate > 160 beats per minute)

(5) vaginal bleeding

(6) abdominal tenderness



• The presence of one or more of these findings justifies continued observation and monitoring of the woman.

• A woman with none of these findings and with no problems after 4 hours of monitoring can be considered for discharge.


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