What is VEAL CHOP Nursing?

veal chop nursing

VEAL CHOP Nursing stands for Variable decelerations, Early deceleration, Acceleration, Late decelerations. CHOP stands for Cord compression, Head compression, Okay & Placental Insufficiency


The Human body is vastly complex. Doctors who dedicate up to 5 years of their life understanding the human body have to retain a lot of knowledge and keep many things in mind when diagnosing and treating patients. Doctors need to have the ability to look at symptoms, figure out the cause of the problem, and then prescribe a course of action to fix it. This requires precision and sharp decision making, which is difficult to keep up for hours on end. This is why medical professionals develop acronyms and other mnemonics to keep track of symptoms and their causes. The VEAL CHOP acronym is one such method for nursing and is used to remember fetal heart rate changes. This acronym helps understand the standardized definitions of variations in fetal heart rate patterns. Making a quick assessment when the fetal heart rate changes are essential to ensure the baby’s survival since the small baby needs to be cared for and monitored to ensure a smooth transition into the world when it is born. The fetal heart rate variations are vital to understanding what is going on in the big picture. The variations that are typically identified based on their correlation to the uterine contractions are termed periodic. The ones that are not correlated to uterine contractions and are independent of them are termed episodic.

VEAL CHOP Nursing:

VEAL CHOP is an acronym to remember the fetal heart rate changes. VEAL correlates to accelerations and decelerations. The words that makeup CHOP help you remember the cause that leads to each fetal heart rate change, whether it is an acceleration or a deceleration. V for Variable goes to C, which stands for Cord Compression, E for Early, connects with H for Head Compression, A for acceleration, which connects to O for Okay, and L stands for Late, which connects to, P which means there is Placental Insufficiency.

  • Variable Decelerations & Cord Compression:

V in VEAL stands for Variable decelerations in heart rate. This is when the fetal heart rate on observing shows sudden abrupt slowing down of the heart rate. The C in CHOP stands for Cord Compressions, and when Variable deceleration in heart rate is observed, it is linked with C with is cord compression meaning that the cord compression is the cause of the deceleration and must be fixed promptly to avoid the fetus from suffering

  • Early Deceleration & Head Compression:

E from VEAL stands for Early deceleration of heart rate, meaning that the fetal heart rate shows symmetrical decrease and return, especially during labor and uterine contractions. This connects to H from CHOP, meaning Head Compression, which can cause symmetrical deceleration.

  • Acceleration or FHR & Okay:

A from VEAL stands for acceleration, shown by an acceleration in the FHR that goes above the baseline. This is a good indicator and is connected to O from CHOP, meaning Oxygenated or Okay, which shows that the fetus is in good condition and no Hypoxemia in the fetus.

  • Late Decelerations & Placental Insufficiency:

L from VEAL stands for Late decelerations, which is visually apparent as there is a gradual decrease in the Fetal Heart Rate during uterine contractions. This is connected to P from CHOP, which stands for Placental Insufficiency, which means that there is not enough placenta and is indicated by a late deceleration followed by a gradual decrease in heart rate lasting for 30 seconds or more following a uterine contraction.


Medical professionals have to remember almost everything about the human body. With the overload of information, professionals use acronyms and mnemonics to remember symptoms and further relate them with the right course of action and treatment. The VEAL CHOP method is a great acronym explaining the problem and the cause in two words so that appropriate action can be taken to ensure the fetus’s safety. While VEAL explains the problem, CHOP answers with a cause of the problem that can solve the problem itself if taken care of. This helps make the process faster for the medical professional since every second saved can save the fetus’s life. 

What is VEAL CHOP Nursing?

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