Medical Bullshit on TV: The Vampire Diaries (Part 6)


Featuring: The Vampire Diaries (no spoilers) Season 7 Episode 13

Now, I’m no OBGYN but I’ve done my student placements so if I turn out to be outrageously wrong/uninformed, please let me know.

Woman in labour, ECG monitor attached.

Twins in her uterus. Beneath the mother’s ECG monitor readings are two more normal, perfect ECG readings meant to reflect the babies. But the twins are in her uterus. Which begs the question: how the HELL did the doctors attach the ECG leads onto the babies when they’re still inside the intact amniotic sac inside the uterus?

…you CAN’T.

Baby heartbeats are monitored either externally or internally. Externally is done by attaching two ultrasound devices that look like plastic pancakes to your belly. Internally is by a little metal clip to the baby’s head whilst the baby is still inside the uterus but the waters have broken (so you have access to the baby’s head via the vagina and cervix).

And baby heart readings do not look like normal ECG readings, because the devices have different functions, are used differently, and the needs for the device are different. The foetal heartbeat monitoring looks like lots of little jaggedy lines…

Which looks like this:


Oh, and there is nothing attached to pregnant woman’s belly to show how the hell there even is any monitoring of foetal heartbeat. She’s all dolled up for a C-section. There’s nothing in the belly. Her waters haven’t broken.


Got any TV series or films you want me to flip out about? Comment below.


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