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C-Section and Role of Simulation

Newborn baby immediately after delivery

The International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN) focus their work on worldwide education to improve maternal-child health by supporting correct C-section recovery, educating health professionals and the public, while increasing the general knowledge of C-sections.

ICAN, a not-for-profit organization, supports the correct use of C-sections and, most importantly, puts the health of women and children first. This is best done when health practitioners receive the most recent, comprehensive and immersive training.Operative Experience offers the world’s only complete and fully integrated labor and delivery suite. All possible delivery presentations, from vaginal to emergency C-hysterectomy, can be realistically simulated, giving medical practitioners life-like, hands-on training.

Reasons for C-Section
There are many reasons why a C-section might take place and having a learning environment that covers all labor eventualities helps to create highly skilled professionals by allowing them to experience a wide range of medical emergencies in preparation for the real thing. While an elective cesarean is always an option for women who would rather not go through a vaginal delivery, it isn’t necessarily advised. C-sections carry an increased risk of infection, repeat hospital visits and blood clots. ICAN advocates for vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) in order to minimize further complications in subsequent deliveries

C-sections are often performed due to emergencies, such as abnormal placental presentations, eclampsia, pre-eclampsia or prolapsed cords. In some cases an assisted or unassisted vaginal delivery might be carried out but could entail some associated risks and, to eliminate these, a C-section is advised instead. Common reasons this may happen include fetal malpresentation and distress.
It’s therefore imperative that medical practitioners receive ongoing training to identify all forms of complications and presentations. Having an anatomically accurate, medical simulator that can emulate real-life delivery situations is of enormous benefit to midwife-led facilities and teaching hospitals. Students can experience situations such as postpartum hemorrhage, learn to perfect a B-lynch suture and encounter the adrenalin of an emergency hysterectomy. The world’s only complete labor and delivery suite, by OEI, also lets residents practice what to do in the event of complications such as nuchal cord, breech birth, prolapse arm, as well as forceps and vacuum assisted deliveries.

Increasing numbers of cesareans
C-sections have been rising in number worldwide. The current global rate for cesareans reached 21% in 2018 and some medical professionals see this as undesirable. However, a low number could also be problematic as women may not be receiving the urgent medical care that they need.
South Africa, for example, has an extremely low cesarean rate, at 4% of all deliveries. At the other end of the spectrum, countries such as China and Brazil can be found to have 46% and 45% respectively. In the U.S. the current rate is around 33% which equates to one cesarean for every 3 births (with a variation of between 23% and 40% depending on the state). In the 1960’s the rate was about 1 in 20 births, roughly 5%. A rise in multiple births, an increase in obesity in pregnant women and a rise in the number of older women giving birth are all factors that may explain the increase over recent years.
For a long time, The World Health Organization held a recommendation of between 10% and 15%, but these percentages were retired in 2010 and replaced with the statement: “There is no empirical evidence for an optimum percentage. What matters most is that all women who need cesarean sections receive them.”

Life after C-Section
Recovery from a C-section depends on the reasons for carrying out the operation: general health and fitness levels, age and even body type. In general most women are able to return to a normal life after six weeks if there are no post-surgical complications.
A C-section carries associated risks and possible complications that can be limited if a properly trained team carry out the surgery. The most timely and cost effective way to do this is through the use of life-like, hands-in-the-body medical simulators.

Learn more about OEI’s suite of emergency OB simulators. Click here

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