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Trust’s midwives to train using realistic birth simulator

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Maternity staff at a teaching hospital are set to welcome a new piece of clinical training equipment that provides realistic simulations of childbirth, following a successful trial of the technology.

The SIM-MOM has an accurate anatomy and enables birthing training for midwives and other staff, said Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

“We need our midwives and doctors to react quickly, safely and effectively”

Julie Shaw

The model was able to simulate breathing, bleeding and other changes observed during maternity emergencies, and staff could practice starting intravenous drips and taking “blood”, said the trust.

It noted that the mannequin also had a heart rate and breathing sounds that could be listened to and monitored, as well as an alternative placenta that could break up and be retained in the model.

Additionally, it can “give birth” according to the learning needs of the team. For example, the baby could be breech or births may be made more complex – requiring quick thinking and intervention.

Julie Shaw, the trust’s clinical educator for midwifery, said: “Every pregnancy and labour are different and should problems arise, we need our midwives and doctors to react quickly, safely and effectively.

“The SIM-MOM will allow us to rehearse obstetric emergencies in controlled settings, so that we have well trained teams ready to ensure the safety of our mothers and their babies when an emergency situation occurs in real life,” she said.

The simulator has already been tried out by staff and the trust will be purchasing its own SIM-MOM as part of its bid for part of a pot of maternity safety funding from Health Education England.

“We have the funding from HEE and are currently in the process of purchasing our own SIM-MOM which we are hoping to receive on 9 March,” a trust spokeswoman told Nursing Times.

Total available HEE funding to trusts is £8m. Every trust is required to submit a bid, with a suggested minimum of £40,000. The upper amount that will be awarded is £80,000.

It follows a government announcement in 2016 to reduce the number of stillbirths, neonatal deaths, maternal deaths and brain injuries during or soon after birth by 20% by 2020 and by 50% by 2030.

Sharon Dickinson, head of midwifery at the trust, said: “We are totally committed to ensuring the healthiest possible outcome from pregnancy and birth for the women of Doncaster and Bassetlaw and this kind of professional training across roles is essential to achieve this.

“SIM-MOM will provide important learning in areas such as decision making, communication and team working,” she added.

The SIM-MOM will also be used to train staff in the trust’s accident and emergency departments so that they are prepared for pregnant women who attend casualty with complications.

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