A drowning fetus sends a distress signal, which is an indica
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Fetal resistance to intrauterine hypoxia during pregnancy and childbirth plays a very important role in the development of its brain, maintaining health and life. Normally, the fetus has a very high resistance to hypoxia, so it can easily withstand apnea lasting more than 25 seconds and similar contractions of the uterus during physiological childbirth. But sometimes the fetus can have a very low resistance to hypoxia, so its brain cells can die from hypoxic damage when a pregnant woman stops breathing and/or when the uterus contracts during childbirth. To save the fetus in this situation, many centuries ago, it was proposed to remove the fetus from the uterus immediately by Cesarean section.

However, there is still no standard scale for evaluating fetal resistance to intrauterine hypoxia in order to accurately choose a safe method of birth between physiological delivery and Cesarean section. However, about 10 years ago, a non-invasive method for sonographic assessment of fetal resistance to intrauterine hypoxia was developed in Russia. This method is based on the definition of the maximum possible period of apnea, proposed more than 100 years ago by the Russian researcher V.A. Shtange and known as the "Shtange test". But unlike the classic Stange test, the innovative method is based on sonographic diagnostics of the "distress signal" given by the fetus inside the uterus of a pregnant woman when the fetus has exhausted all the reserves of adaptation to hypoxia.

Thus, the result of the proposed method is determined by the reaction not of the woman, but by the reaction of her fetus. It was found that with high resistance to hypoxia, the fetus is motionless for more than 25 seconds when a pregnant woman holds her breath. In this case, the fetus can be born alive and healthy as a result of a physiological delivery or Cesarean section. It was also found that when the fetal resistance to hypoxia is low and/or when all the reserves of adaptation to hypoxia are exhausted, the fetus sends a distress signal in the form of a sudden increase in motor activity less than 10 seconds after the beginning of breath retention by a pregnant woman.

In particular, there are respiratory movements of the chest.
This fetal motor activity (distress signal) is well detected
by ultrasound. In this case, the fetus can be born alive
and healthy only as a result of Cesarean section, and
physiological childbirth is contraindicated. This functional test can be called the “Urakova test on fetus distress signal in apnea”. The author believes that the use of the Urakova test on fetus distress signal in apnea will help to reduce infant mortality during childbirth, improve the health of newborns, and reduce the cost of obstetric care.

Source:https://www.ijogr.org/article-details/12768
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