Our maternity department has used a £30,000 government grant to buy a new life-like birthing simulator called SimMom.
The realistic mannequin has accurate anatomy and functionality, complete with a ‘bump’ and a birthing baby inside, so the team can practice different labour and birth scenarios.
Labour Ward Manager Louise Emmett explains: “We were awarded the money from the Department of Health as part of a national drive to improve safety in maternity and reduce stillbirth. Emergency situations are by nature unexpected and high pressured and using a simulator is one of the best ways to practise how we should react. It’s vital that every member of the team – including midwives, obstetric consultants, anaesthetists, theatre nurses, operating department practitioners and maternity care assistants – know and understand their role, so there is no delay in deciding ‘who will do what’ and they can work together seamlessly and quickly.
“SimMom is very versatile; we can connect her to a computer and programme her to re-enact different emergencies we may experience in maternity - for example, a woman is very unwell and collapses, develops an infection or starts to bleed heavily, or we suddenly find a baby is breech (head up rather than head down). The team can then use SimMom to practice their clinical skills – such as ventilation, intubation, CPR and IV access and different ways of delivering the baby, including moving SimMom into different positions and assisted delivery with forceps or ventouse.
“The beauty of SimMom is that she is easily transportable, so we can take her anywhere on the unit, set up a scenario without warning and put the team through their paces.
Our Neonatal team also has a ‘SimBaby’, which we are able to connect to SimMom to practise our responses in a dual emergency. As everything is computerised, we are then able to assess afterwards how the emergency was handled – debriefing the team on what worked well and what could be done differently or improved upon.”