New Sensor Warns of Oxygen Loss of Unborn Children

Current tests for foetal hypoxia require blood samples to be taken to a lab for examination leading to delays which means doctors having to decide sometimes to proceed with a caesarean section rather than take the risk on waiting on that full analysis.

University of Warwick researcher Professor Nick Dale has been looking at the science surrounding a chemical that can be found in blood called hypoxanthine. An unborn child with more than five micromoles of hypoxanthine per litre of their blood is at severe risk of foetal hypoxia. Dale and pointed out that the probes would be of massive benefit to doctors in the delivery room.

Warwick Medical School researchers have examined the probes and say that the use of Professor Dale's probes to test for hypoxanthine would give doctors in delivery rooms almost instant data on whether the unborn child faced foetal hypoxia. This would allow doctors to take more informed decisions as to whether to proceed to a caesarean section and probably therefore reduce the number of caesareans conducted. The test also said to require much less fine tuning than current tests: the blood PH test currently used to detect foetal hypoxia problems needs to identify a shift of as little of 0.05 PH. Dale is thrilled by the medical interest in his probes and is now working through a spin-out company to take the work further.; Source: University of Warwick