Simulation Training and the Challenge of C-Section Births

| Roxanne Blanford

Quality of care ... is an important consideration in the analysis of caesarean section rates and mortality.
 ~~ The WHO Statement on Caesarean Section Rates,  April 10,  2015

Incorporating a simulation model into [caesarean section] training provides a safe, low-stress environment in which students can gain skills.
 ~~Advances in Medical Education and Practice Journal,  December 2010

Recent data attests to a worldwide rate of caesarean section births as being above 15%. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that an "ideal rate" for the procedure should be between 10% and 15%.

In 2015, the WHO issued a call to reduce the number of unnecessary C-sections, stating that overuse of the procedure may heighten risk and jeopardize the well-being of women and their babies. Cesarean section birth -- surgery in which an incision is made through a pregnant woman's abdominal wall and uterus to deliver a baby -- may be medically necessary for a host of valid reasons (i.e., life-threatening obstetrical emergencies; situations when vaginal delivery is neither safe nor feasible). Other times, the procedure may be elected by request and/or scheduled as a matter of personal choice. 

Regardless of the conditions that result in a C-section, it is surgery that is not without risk to both mother and child. Caesarean sections have potential to inflict grave, intraoperative and postoperative complications. Expert assistance by well-trained clinical teams is required to minimize patient mortality and morbidity. 

But, is simply lowering the number of c-sections the absolute, best solution? Or, might there be other alternatives that can provide women with both the birthing options they want, and the attention to quality of care and patient safety they deserve?

Study: Simulation-Based Learning in Caesarean Technique

There is pressing need for inter-professional training that prepares maternal care teams to respond to obstetrical emergencies which require rapid response, astute technical skills, cohesive teamwork and effective communication. Simulation training in obstetrics offers learners experiential training that can improve quality of care and enhance the safety of women and newborns.

In a peer-reviewed research study seeking to determine the effectiveness of teaching obstetrical skills using a caesarean simulator (documented in the Dec. 2010 issue of Advances in Medical Education and Practice ), it was found that students who received training with a simulator were "significantly more likely to define the steps of cesarean section (91% vs 61.5%), and were comfortable in assisting cesarean section (100% vs 46.15%) as they were able to identify the layers of abdomen opened during cesarean section."

All students in the simulator group self-reported their experience favorably.

CAE Lucina: Complete Maternal Simulation

Realistic Training in Obstetrical Emergencies and C-Section Support

CAE Healthcare's CAE Lucina childbirth simulator was developed for clinicians and interprofessional teams who manage normal deliveries as well as childbirth complications and obstetrical emergencies.

Built on a revolutionary hardware and software platform with realistic skin, limb articulation, and measurable vital signs for both fetus and mother, Lucina provides opportunity for C-section team training support that enables learners to become better prepared to handle such delivery scenarios.

Lucina is the only high-fidelity birthing simulator with modeled, validated and maternal/fetal integrated physiology.

CAE Lucina offers reliable, realistic training in a range of childbirth maneuvers (i.e, Leopold's, McRoberts, Zavanelli, Rubin II and Woods' Screw Maneuvers) and emergency care scenarios ( i.e, instrumental vaginal deliveries, Class III hemorrhage, cardio-respiratory arrest) that call for efficient, life-saving teamwork.  

Advancing a Culture of Patient Safety with Advanced Healthcare Training Solutions

CAE Healthcare is on a mission to improve patient safety and outcomes by providing innovative solutions, simulation expertise and world-class support. We deliver educational services and quality products that help prepare interprofessional clinical teams to do their best every single day.

Train your labor and delivery teams in effective techniques that help reduce risk of maternal and infant mortality. Contact CAE Healthcare to explore the many benefits of simulation-based education for improved patient outcomes.

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