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SSM Health in St. Louis is leading the charge to reduce the rate of women dying in child birth.  At the family birthplace at SSM Health St. Clare Hospital, the Perinatal Simulation program trains physicians, nurses and medical teams on real-life situations that can happen during child birth.  They train for emergencies with interactive mannequins.  The mannequins can simulate dangerous situations that can occur during childbirth.

The perinatal simulation program is used to train all physicians, nurses and medical staff across all SSM Health hospitals to ensure all teams are prepared should an emergency happen during child birth.

Dr. Guy Venezia, medical director of obstetrics says, “We create an environment where physicians and nurses are put in, they are immersed in real clinical emergencies.  And then we get to watch them interact in real-life situations and then help them to improve their immediate care to emergencies that happen.”

Obstetrics is a high-risk specialty in which emergencies are, to some extent, inevitable. Training staff to manage these emergencies is a fundamental principle of risk management.

Traditional risk management strategies based on incident reporting and event analysis are reactive and not always effective. Simulation-based training is an appropriate proactive approach to reducing the errors and risks inherent in obstetrics. Teamwork and communication will also improve while simultaneously giving the students a multiplicity of transferable skills to advance their personal performance.

The CDC says 60% of maternal deaths are preventable.  SSM Health believes the answer is practice, practice, practice.

“When you come in to have a baby and there’s an emergency, how great is it to know that the physicians and doctors and nurses and medical technicians have practiced all those emergencies.”

For more information on maternity care at SSM Health, click here.