Date of Award

Fall 1994

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering - (M.S.)

Department

Biomedical Engineering Committee

First Advisor

Martin J. Linden

Second Advisor

David S. Kristol

Third Advisor

Sidney Wilchins

Abstract

LaborConsult is a rule-based expert system designed to aid the non-expert practitioner in monitoring the progress and fetal tolerance of labor. The expert system obtains from the user the values of the following labor variables: cervical dilatation, fetal station, and the time between and duration of uterine contractions. The rates of cervical dilatation and fetal descent are then calculated and compared to labor standards. Additionally, the consultation assists the user in the analysis of electronic fetal monitor tracings.

The expert system development tool VP-Expert allows the interfacing of the consultation with the spreadsheet Lotus 1-2-3. This enables the creation of a labor document showing the status and progress of the labor variables and Friedman curves displaying cervical dilatation or fetal descent versus time. The expert system is validated for two case studies and additional hypothetical data. It is concluded that LaborConsult is an effective expert system for the evaluation of the progress of labor and concurrently obtained fetal heart rate data.

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