Robot could be key to decreasing maternal deaths in St. Louis area

A robot named Victoria is helping medical teams train for real-life birth scenarios (Credit: KMOV)

A robot being used to train hospital staff in Missouri and Illinois could help better prepare medical professionals to successfully deliver babies in emergency situations.

Instructors at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and St. Louis Children’s Hospital are offering training throughout the bi-state area with a high fidelity simulator, named Victoria, which can mimic real-life birth scenarios.

“She can simulate any kind of interaction an OB mom would have if she came in to have a baby,” said Jan Chandarlis, perinatal outreach coordinator and educator for Barnes-Jewish Hospital. That includes preeclampsia, seizures, epidural, an emergency C-section, resuscitation for the infant, and even transport to Barnes-Jewish Hospital and St. Louis Children’s Hospital via helicopter.

The mannequin infant, which can also be delivered vaginally as vertex, breech, or normal, is named Tori and offers its own set of training.

“With Tori, we can do simulations the same as we did with Victoria, heart rate, respiratory rate. She is able to be intubated, do a full newborn resuscitation including intubation, compressions, medications,” said Barbara Garrison, NICU outreach coordinator at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

The goal is to prepare regional, and especially rural, hospitals for any birth situation.

“It’s not a sit-down lecture, it’s a hands-on working with her. And if you fail and something goes wrong, we can repeat it and go through it again and again until we get it right,” said Chandarlis. “They are able to retain more through a hands-on experience.”

They’ve already seen proof it works. They did a training session in Carbondale that included a pregnant patient trapped in a car after a crash, taken to the emergency room, in need of an emergency C-section.

“A week later, they had a patient come in that was MVA (motor vehicle accident) that was an OB patient and they did a stat C-section. They were prepared,” Chandarlis said.

Instructors with Barnes and Children’s Hospitals say they are offering this training to all regional hospitals, not only BJC partners.

Copyright 2018 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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