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Happy Moms, Healthy Babies

January 05, 2016

Unique training program leads to fewer birth complications

Kansas City, Kan. — Early in the morning of Friday, Jan. 1, a baby was born on the fifth floor of The University of Kansas Hospital.

While she wasn't Kansas City's first baby of 2016, the firstborn Chiefs fan of 2016's birth had one thing that was evident: the tiny bundle of joy entered the world in one of the nation's safest labor-and-delivery units.

Since 2008, healthcare professionals at The University of Kansas Hospital and University of Kansas Medical Center have participated annually in a two-day training program designed to improve outcomes for mothers and babies experiencing obstetric emergencies.

Now a research study published in the Journal of Perinatology has found the program is associated with significant reductions in rates of mothers' Cesarean delivery and episiotomies, as well as lower rates of babies' birth hypoxia and brachial plexus injury from shoulder dystocia. Less medical intervention, better outcomes and fewer complications also meant lower healthcare costs.

The program, originally developed in the United Kingdom, is called Practical Obstetric Multi-Professional Training (PROMPT). Physicians and staff at our hospital, which also offers a Level III Neonatal ICU, adapted the program to the U.S. and took the lead in incorporating it in training.

"For the past seven years, it has been a requirement that all members of our birthing team, from doctors to nurses to support staff, go through the PROMPT training every year," said the study's principal author, Carl Weiner, MD, professor of gynecology and obstetrics at the University of Kansas School of Medicine and attending physician for the Center for Advanced Fetal Care.

He said PROMPT combines classroom instruction and hands-on practice using simulators to put physicians and nurses through joint exercises that better prepare them for birth complications. "Having our staff take the PROMPT training has made us one of the safest places in the country for labor and delivery," Weiner said. "This research study reinforces that belief."

The PROMPT program is used in about a dozen countries including England, Australia, Zimbabwe and China. A team from our hospital and medical center has begun training other hospitals across the United States on how to use it

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