Our impact feature: Maternal manikin

With this maternal manikin (right), the midwifery team and those who work alongside them can receive tailor made simulation training.

The problem:

Complications during childbirth can lead to death or long term disability of the mother, baby or both – resulting in devastating effects for the family unit as a whole.

Complications of this nature are a problem across the NHS. Of the clinical negligence claims reported to NHS Resolution in 2020/21, obstetric claims represented 11% (1,189) of clinical claims by number, but accounted for 59% of the total value of new claims – approximately £4.19 million of the total £7.11 million.

The solution:

Simulation training can be invaluable in increasing staff confidence and awareness of how incidents can happen and be either avoided or managed. At West Hertfordshire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust we are proud of our dedicated medical simulation suite within the Medical Education Centre, but we needed a high fidelity maternity manikin.

So we put a funding application in to the League of Friends of Watford Hospital to purchase a female manikin able to deliver a baby and replicate the various complications that can occur during child birth.

Thanks to the League’s generosity, the simulation team can deliver tailor-made training to the midwifery team and those who work alongside with them (anaesthetists, obstetrician, neonatologists etc).

The use of a manikin that can reproduce realistic cardiotocography (CTG) monitoring is especially useful in replicating foetal distress and the need for emergency intervention during childbirth. In conjunction with the existing simulation equipment and high fidelity newborn baby simulator, a complete maternal scenario involving recognition of complications during birth, management of the mother and delivery, followed by management of the newborn infant, is possible.

The expectation of patients is that medical and nursing personnel will have requisite knowledge and skills before they are treated by them. Human patient simulators allow for these skills to be attained and practiced in a simulated environment before using them in clinical practice. Such simulators also allow staff to either practice dealing with rare complications that may not be encountered in day to day life or learn extended and advanced skills that are difficult to replicate any other way.

  • With charitable support, we could increase our staff development support, help to enhance patient care and save more lives. If you are interested in making a donation, please visit our donation page. Thank you.
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