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Press Releases

NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue Obstetrics Simulation Lab Teaches Master Skills To Help Reduce Maternal Death and Complications During Childbirth

New lab will further teach L&D providers skills to identify and address avoidable and potentially fatal complications during childbirth

Dec 17, 2021

New York, NY

NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue today announced the opening of its Obstetrics (OB) simulation lab to help reduce maternal deaths and life-threatening conditions in patients during childbirth. Using a specially-designed, high-tech, full-body mannequin-of-color, OB physicians, anesthesiologists, nurse practitioners, nurses, midwives, physician assistants,  and respiratory therapists participate in simulations that further help in identifying a potentially life-threatening condition during labor and childbirth. NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue is one of six city public hospitals to be outfitted with its own OB simulation lab to help make trainings more accessible for OB teams throughout the system, building on the City’s program to reduce maternal deaths and life-threatening complications from childbirth among women of color.
“We recognize the value of having an on-site OB sim lab at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue. Simulation training ensures that our provider teams have the opportunity to hone and perfect life-saving skills. It’s consistent with our health system’s ongoing dedication to expanding access to care and eliminating health disparities,” said NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue CEO William Hicks.
“While many of these complications are rare, it is very important that we provide all clinical personnel with up-to-date training and the opportunity to practice skills that may help save the life of a pregnant or postpartum patient,” said Director of NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue Simulation Sepideh Mehri, MD. “Our interdisciplinary team provides a variety of OB emergency courses, in situ simulations and technical skills sessions to ensure OB teams recognize the problem early and manage the condition swiftly and effectively, with a positive outcome for mother and baby.”
“Our OB sim labs at our hospitals further prove our commitment to reducing maternal mortality rates that disproportionally impact patients of color,” said NYC Health + Hospitals Chief Women’s Health Services Officer Wendy Wilcox, MD, MPH, MBA, FACOG. “The Bellevue team has done an amazing job in ensuring that their simulation lab is set up to offer staff convenient, on-site access to these lifesaving courses.”
The new sim lab replicates OB emergencies, including but not limited to:

  • Maternal hemorrhage
  • Hypertensive emergencies
  • Shoulder dystocia
  • Maternal cardiopulmonary arrest
  • Stat Cesarean Section
  • Cord prolapse
  • Neonatal resuscitation

The simulation lab consists of three rooms: a control room where simulation leads provide instructions in real-time and manipulate the scenarios, a staged hospital room to carry out the simulations with OB healthcare teams and the mannequin, and a classroom. After the simulations, the team participates in a debrief to review the scenarios, responses, and outcomes.
Funding for the OB simulations was included as part of the City’s previous $12.8M allocation for a comprehensive plan to support the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and NYC Health + Hospitals programming aimed at reducing maternal deaths and life-threatening complications from childbirth among women of color.
The NYC Health +Hospitals/Bellevue OB Simulation Program started in June 2016 in collaboration with the NYC Health + Hospitals Simulation Center and has trained hundreds of Bellevue physicians, nurses, and staff.
Significant racial and ethnic disparities in pregnancy-related mortality exist. According to the CDC, black patients have a pregnancy-related mortality ratio approximately three times as high as that of their white counterparts.