Intrauterine Pressure Catheter Insertion

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  • Inadequate contraction pattern
  • Failure to progress/descend
  • Arrest of labor
  • Trial of labor after cesarean delivery (TOLAC)
  • Ineffective use of external monitoring secondary to maternal motion or body habitus
  • Need for amnioinfusion


  • Be certain to know the fetal presentation to avoid traumatizing the fetus.
  • Be certain of the placental location to avoid traumatizing the placenta.
  • Intact fetal membranes (absolute unless rupture is deemed acceptable)
  • Complete placenta previa

Relative Contraindications

  • Inadequately dilated cervix
  • Partial placenta previa
  • Vasa previa
  • Uterine bleeding of undetermined origin
  • Nonreassuring fetal status
  • Fetal anomalies (e.g., gastroschisis)
  • Sterile gloves
  • Amniotomy hook if membranes are not ruptured
  • Intrauterine pressure catheter (sterile)
  • Cable to join IUPC with fetal monitor (nonsterile)
  • Fetal monitor

Placental Anatomy

  • A placenta located over the maternal cervical os is a placenta previa.

Fetal Presentation

  • Vertex presentation: cephalic presentation (the head presents first)

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The full content of this section includes:
  • Step-by-step text instructions for performing the procedure
  • Clinical pearls providing practical clinical tips from medical experts
  • Patient safety guidelines consistent with Joint Commission and OHSA standards
  • Links to medical evidence and related procedures

  • Advise the patient to report vaginal bleeding, and counsel the patient that mobility is limited with an IUPC.
  • Extramembranous (extraovular) placement of the IUPC
  • Inaccurate pressure tracings
  • Placental perforation
  • Uterine perforation
  • Fetal vessel laceration
  • Fetal trauma
  • Amnionitis
  • Disseminated intravascular coagulation (rare)
  • Maternal cardiac failure secondary to amniotic fluid embolus (rare)
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