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VEAL CHOP Nursing Mnemonic (Fetal Accelerations and Decelerations)

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A fetal acceleration is an abrupt increase in fetal heart rate above the established baseline. A fetal deceleration is a decrease in fetal heart rate below the established fetal heart rate. The VEAL CHOP nursing mnemonic can be used to help remember how to interpret fetal heart rate during labor. For example, early decelerations in FHR (fetal heart rate) indicate head compression. It is typical for decels in FHR during a contraction because of head compression, but FHR should return to normal when contraction ends.

V Variable
E Early
A Accelerations
L Late
C Cord Compression
H Head Compression
O Okay
P Placental Insufficiency

veal chop nursing mnemonic



What does veal chop mean in nursing?
Veal chop is a mnemonic that helps the providers determine what the fetal heart is telling us during labor. VEAL stands for Variable deceleration, Early decelerations, Accelerations, and Late decelerations, which aligns with CHOP and stands for Cord compression, Head compression, Oxygenated or Ok, and Placental insufficiency.

What is veal chop fetal heart rate?
It’s used to determine what the fetal heart rate is doing during contractions in labor. If there is Variability that means there is Cord compression, Early decelerations means Head compression, Accelerations means the fetus is well Oxygenated and ok, and Late decelerations means there is Placental insufficiency.

What are the interventions for VEAL-CHOP?
If there are variable decelerations or late decelerations then this means that the fetus does not have good oxygenation so the patient should be turned to her side (preferably her left side) and given oxygen (the additional oxygen will supply the fetus). Early decelerations and accelerations require no emergent interventions.

What does VEAL-CHOP look like?
Variable decelerations indicate Cord compression and show as abrupt changes in FHR, Early decelerations indicate Head compression, shown as decelerations that MIRROR the contraction. Accelerations indicate Oxygenation seen as FHR increases and Late decelerations indicate Placental insufficiency shown as a drop in FHR AFTER the start of the contraction.

What is being assessed with VEAL-CHOP?
Fetal heart rate (FHR) in response to labor contractions. This helps the providers know if the fetus is in a healthy environment or if they require an intervention.

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Video Transcript

Hey guys, do you ever get confused about what you’re supposed to know when you’re dealing with your pregnant patients and when you’re doing your fetal heart rates? Well, I’ve gotten a moniker for you today. It’s called veal chop. Now let’s take a look at what each of these letters means. Starting with V V means variable. You’re going to have variable accelerations, and that could also mean that there’s cord compression happening. So what can you do for your patient? Well, the first thing you can do is reposition your patient, or you can provide them supplemental oxygen and then continue to monitor. Now let’s take a look at the next one, which is E these are early decelerations. Now, if we go along with chop, this is going to be H head compression. That means that we could be getting to the point where a birth is about to happen.

So just continue to check the cervix to the patient and monitor them. Now, let’s go to the, a, a stands for accelerations. This is a totally normal occurrence, and that means that it’s okay. Now let’s take a look at L L is late decelerations. And what that means is you could have some P or placental insufficiency. What that means is there is some oxygen that’s not getting to the fetus. And so what we have to do is we have to make that happen by means most of the time, by going to the, or, and delivering the baby by C-section. Now that’s our mnemonic on veal chop, and that’s how you take care of your pregnant patients. And you pay attention to those fetal heart tones. Now go out and be your best selves today. And as always happy nursing.