FEVER
Pressure
sensitive
gauge
FETISHISM
FETAL HEART MONITORING
Ultrasound transducer
Trace showing uterine
contractions and
baby's heartbeat
Cardiotocograph
EXTERNAL FETAL HEART MONITORING
stethoscope. Cardiotocography, a more
sophisticated electronic version, makes
a continuous paper recording of the
heartbeat together with a recording of
the uterine contractions. The heartbeat
is picked up either externally by an
ultrasound
transducer strapped to the
mother's abdomen or, as an alternative
during labour, internally by an electrode
attached to the baby's scalp that passes
through the vagina and cervix.
fetishism
Reliance on special objects in
order to achieve sexual arousal. The
objects need not have an obvious sex-
ual meaning; they may include shoes,
rubber or leather garments, and parts of
the body, such as the feet or ears.
Fetishism
usually has no obvious
cause. According to psychoanalysts, the
origin may be a childhood
fixation
of
sexual interest upon some aspect of the
mother's appearance. Treatment is nec-
essary only if the behaviour is causing
distress or persistent criminal acts.
fetoscopy
A procedure for directly obs-
erving a fetus inside the uterus by
means of a fetoscope, a type of
endo-
scope
. Fetoscopy is used to diagnose
various
congenital
abnormalities before
the baby is born. Because the technique
carries some risks, it is performed only
when other tests such as
ultrasound
scanning
have detected an abnormality.
By attaching additional instruments, it
is also possible to use the fetoscope to
take samples of fetal blood or tissue for
analysis and to correct surgically some
fetal disorders. (See also
amniocentesis;
chorionic villus sampling.)
fetus
The unborn child from the end of
the
8
th week after conception until
birth. For the first
8
weeks, the unborn
child is called an
embryo
.
fever
Elevation above normal of body
temperature. Normal body temperature
is 37oC in the mouth and 0.6oC lower in
the axilla (armpit). A fever may be accom-
panied by symptoms such as shivering,
headache, sweating, thirst, faster-than-
normal breathing, and a flushed face.
Confusion
or
delirium
sometimes occur,
especially in the elderly; a high fever
may cause seizures in a child under 5
years (see
convulsion, febrile
)
or
coma.
Most fevers are caused by a bacterial
infection such as
tonsillitis
or a viral in-
fection such as
influenza
. In these cases,
proteins called pyrogens are released
when the white blood cells fight the
microorganisms that are responsible for
the infection. Pyrogens act on the tem-
perature controlling centre in the brain,
causing it to raise the body temperature
in an attempt to destroy the invading
microorganisms. Fever may also occur
in conditions, such as
dehydration
,
thyro-
toxicosis
,
lymphoma
,
and
myocardial
infarction
, where infection is not present.
Drugs such as
aspirin
or other
nons-
teroidal
anti-inflammatory
drugs,
or
paracetamol
may be given to reduce
fevers
that
are
due
to
infections.
228
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