A computer method for visual presentation and programmed evaluation of labor

E. Andrew Balas, T. Allan Pryor, Richard M. Hebertson, Peter J. Haug, Michael Twede

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Manual graphing of the progress of labor is considered useful but is not often done. The early detection of some deviations requires special graphics aids. Our objective was to develop an easy-to-use computer program for the integrated visual presentation of information characterizing the progress of labor. Through the use of inexpensive personal computers equipped with graphics monitors, the program provides a combined graphics display of timed progressive cervical dilatation, fetal station, and stimulation of uterine activity (oxytocin infusion). For the early detection of abnormalities, phase-specific normal ranges (reference areas) are displayed. In addition, protraction/arrest as well as precipitate labor disorders are highlighted and computer messages are displayed. The program was evaluated through the assessment of 405 labors entered into a local area network of computers. On average, the program identified 1.5 abnormalities per recorded labor (2.0 for labors resulting in vaginal delivery). The graphic presentation of the labor curve, produced within 3 seconds, displayed 27% more information than the tabular format on the same screen area and provided a single-screen display of the labor curve even for patients with excessive data. The computer-generated display of labor curves facilitates visual presentation and interpretation of labor progress and can also help to translate quality assurance criteria into clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)419-423
Number of pages5
JournalObstetrics and gynecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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