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Birth simulation trains nurses to deal with abnormal bleeding

Studies show up to 5 percent of women have abnormal bleeding during and especially after giving birth. Pinpointing the cause and stopping the problem quickly can be the difference between life and death.

Mission Hospital is increasing the odds of survival by having medical teams practice a birth simulation.

The simulation turns from the celebration of a successful delivery to attempting to save a mother's life, something nurse educator Christine Conrad knows all too well.

"Obstetric hemorrhage can happen without warning and without risk factors, and it happens quickly," Conrad said. "People are literally bleeding to death in front of us."

The simulation gets intense quickly for Adrienne Weir, playing the role of patient.

"It can be a little more triggering than you might think," Weir said. "You know that it's fake, but when everything is happening, you do feel like the patient."

A typical simulation lasts 10 to 15 minutes. Participants have to be ready for anything and what they take away is invaluable.

"It has really helped empower me to be a better nurse, to do what is safe for the patient, to think ahead and help save that patient's life," labor & delivery nurse Rhonda Janes said.

In this exercise, the bleeding is stopped and the life is saved, but everyone's response is reviewed.

"It's well documented that hospitals who have a plan in place, who practice that plan, have better outcomes with their hemorrhages and their obstetric emergencies," Conrad explained.

That means fewer deaths and a reduced number of long-term hospitalizations.

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