Simulation based training for emergency cesarean section
A major cause of maternal and neonatal death and severe disability in developing countries is the lack of trained medical providers to perform emergency cesarean sections in cases of obstructed labor. Due to the shortage of doctors, many underserved countries rely on midwives and clinical officers to provide obstetrical care. These providers are not trained to perform cesarian section. A low cost method for training them to safely do this operation could reduce maternal/fetal mortality and devastating, non-lethal obstetrical complications such as recto-vaginal fistulas. Operative Experience, Inc. has pioneered unique, simulation-based methods to teach major surgical operations and currently trains military physicians and combat medics in critical trauma procedures. We propose to utilize our methods to teach healthcare providers in underserved areas to perform emergency cesarean sections. Our system is based on video demonstration of operative procedures using physical models of unprecedented anatomical and surgical accuracy. The models consist of artificial tissues that can be cut, dissected, retracted and sutured using standard surgical instruments. The trainee practices the operation on the simulator with a mentor until proficient in the techniques of the procedure. We propose the following deliverables: 1.) prototype, high-fidelity, viscoelastic, vascularized, physical model of a pregnant abdomen with obstructed labor, capable of supporting a teaching module for emergency cesarean section, 2. pilot, video teaching module providing instruction in the anesthesia, anatomy, decision-making, tactics, tools and techniques of section, delivery of the baby and placenta, immediate postnatal care and repair of incisions.