GWH staff practice rare emergency

Posted: October 23, 2017

Joined forces to take part in innovative simulation

Staff at the Great Western Hospital have joined forces to take part in an innovative simulation of a rare maternal emergency.

After weeks of careful preparation, staff from the Obstetrics, Anaesthetics and Midwifery teams gathered on Tuesday 17 October for their first multidisciplinary simulation outside of the classroom.
The two-hour simulation used state-of-the-art manikins on the ward rather than in the hospital's simulation suite, beginning in the Delivery Suite and moving to an operating theatre.
The simulation scenario centred on a woman with pre-eclampsia, a rare condition that affects up to six per cent of pregnant women. Between one and two per cent of these cases can be severe, with mums needing emergency treatment.
The scenario began with the Midwifery team treating a patient, posed by an actor, who portrayed a woman who was having her first child and was suffering from pre-eclampsia.
The anaesthetic and paediatric teams became involved as the scenario progressed, with the mother requiring an emergency operation to deliver the baby.
The mother's condition worsened and the teams had to use advanced resuscitation techniques before delivering the baby by caesarean section under a general anaesthetic.
The simulated baby, who was premature, was then resuscitated by the neonatal team.
The exercise comes as the first of what is hoped to be an on-going program of simulations to test system responses to emergencies in the future, ensuring the greatest level of patient safety.
Dr Nicolas Suarez, Clinical Innovation and Anaesthetic Fellow at Great Western Hospital, said:"Multidisciplinary simulations like this are a more efficient way to change how the hospital responds as a unit.
"It was challenging - we had to work effectively like a Formula One team, as one unit.
"We will be relating the outcomes of the exercise to real-life incidents to see what has been improved and it will bridge the gap between knowledge and performance.
"It is ultimately about improving patient care and prioritising patient safety."

For more information about pre-eclampsia see the NHS choices website

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