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Human simulator helps birth center staff practice response to post-delivery complications

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DAVENPORT, Iowa -- Nurses at Genesis East Birth Center have a new patient at the hospital.  Victoria.  She's not there for medical help, however; she's there to help the medical staff practice.

Labor and delivery nurses have gotten first-hand practice with Victoria, a birth simulator.

"She's as close to a human being as you can get," said Birth Center Educator Julie Grothusen.  One simulator experience with Victoria helped the staff practice what to do when a patient has a massive hemorrhage.  It's something that about 3% of women experience, and is the leading cause of death postpartum.

As nurses practice their response to major bleeding, their getting used to a new policy of measuring blood loss, instead of just eyeing it.

"The blood loss they have drives the interventions we do," said Grothusen.  "Once they hit areas of blood loss that puts us in stage of hemorrhage so it helps guide our care."

Once Victoria is stable, the nurses go over how they handled each situation.  Staff says each simulation shows them what their strengths are and where they need to improve, building confidence in their work and for moms-to-be.

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