Simulators to Make Childbirth Safer

Newborn right after childbirth

Every year in the United States 700 to 900 women die from pregnancy or childbirth related causes. American women are more than three times as likely as Canadian women to die in the maternal period. (Source)

“Trial and error” is not an option for those in the medical profession, and that’s especially true in the field of obstetrics. For pregnancy and birth, the professionals must be one hundred percent competent to ensure the patient feels safe. Midwives and doctors should ideally continually educate themselves in obstetrics/midwifery to be able to achieve this.

Recognizing the stages of labor

The prenatal cervical examination helps the doctor determine what stage of childbirth the patient is in. Contractions open up the cervix until it reaches a diameter of approximately ten centimeters. The Birthing Stages Trainer offers true-to-life shaped inserts that simulate the various stages of the opening of the neck of the womb. Students can practice palpation and diagnosing the stage of the birth on a total of six different inserts. The inserts can be used in combination with the P90 birth simulator (see below).

Manual obstetrics/midwifery and Cesarean section

All those involved in the birth want to avoid complications. To be prepared and to take control of emergency situations, the Birthing Simulator PRO was developed. All manual obstetrics/midwifery techniques — such as manual manipulation of all fetal positions with hand movements such as Leopold and Ritgen — can be practiced. Cesarean section births and complete and incomplete afterbirth expulsions can be practiced on the simulator. The instructor can introduce the simulator so that the fetus doll adopts abnormal positions; the student can determine the fetal position and presentation by palpating, manipulate it in utero, and practice dealing with difficult cases, from shoulder dystocia via breech birth to an umbilical cord prolapse.

Perineal birth injuries

Taking professional care of birth injuries is essential for the patient. In the event of birth complications, it may be necessary to carry out a C-section or an episiotomy during the birth. With the Episiotomy and Suture Trainer, doctors can practice suturing the perineum correctly. The perineal muscle structures can be palpated. Using the latest suturing techniques, vaginal and labial tears can also be repaired. The doctor can suture muscle and skin layers separately, and it is possible to re-suture a tear using the simulator.

Dexterity in spinal and epidural anesthesia

To carry out spinal anesthesia, the doctor inserts a thin needle into the spinal canal, and for epidural anesthesia, a catheter is inserted using a thicker needle near the spinal canal. For both methods of anesthesia, a high level of skill is required to find the correct insertion point. For epidural anesthesia, the needle must also be inserted at the correct angle. To do the procedure correctly, student doctors can practice both anesthesia procedures with the Epidural and Spinal Injection Trainer. With high-quality materials, if offers true-to-life haptic feedback. The model of the spinal canal is realistically filled with fluid, which flows out at a natural speed. Students can practice carrying out spinal and epidural anesthesia safely and realistically with the simulator to stop birth pains.

This is a guest post from 3B Scientific, written by Joanna Aitkens. 3B Scientific is an international group of companies that specializes in the manufacturing and marketing of didatcitc material for scientific, medical, and patient education. Pocket Nurse distributes 3B Scientific models such as the Birthing P90 Pro and the Birthing Stages trainer. This post was adapted from a post at the 3B Scientific Therapy and Wellness Insight Blog.

For a high fidelity birthing simulator, check out SIMone™ from 3B Scientific.

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