Reflective doctors and cool babies (2019)

Type of publication:
Conference abstract

Author(s):
*Charlesworth D.; Cunningham S.; Dudley L.; Bentley F.; Oguntimehin J.; Fairclough S.

Citation:
BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology; Jun 2019; vol. 126 ; p. 45

Abstract:
Introduction In 2014, the RCOG launched the ‘Each Baby Counts’ initiative which included the aim of reducing the number of neonates who are left severely disabled by preventable incidents in labour. The initial report concluded that a different outcome may have been achieved in 76% of cases if different care had been received. Around the same time, reflective practice among doctors faced a significant challenge secondary to negative perceptions of its use in litigation, and resilience continued to be tested as work pressures, insufficient staff numbers, and public perceptions continued to increase. With the interplay between all these factors being crucial in achieving the state of experiential learning necessary to achieve the EBC goals, we look at a different method for reflective practice and quality improvement. Methods In 2015, we launched a series of measures inspired by EBC to reduce our rates of neonates requiring therapeutic hypothermia. One key component of our programme was a change in how our RCAs were undertaken. We changed RCA leads to include staff at all levels from across the multidisciplinary team, promoted a reflective journey and thematic analysis, changed our meetings to include staff recommended by the EBC report to achieve a more multidisciplinary and inclusive representation, promoted team learning, and fed back via casebased, reflective teaching. We then undertook a 48-month retrospective audit from 01/2015 to 12/2018 to see if we had improved care. Results In 2015, our therapeutic hypothermia annual incidence was 12, 11 in 2016, 7 in 2017, and 2 by 12/2018. Thematic analysis of our cases revealed a change in precipitating factors from preventable to unpredictable, and we subsequently increased the proportion of cases in which we concluded we could not improve the end outcome (though learning was identified in all). Staff empowerment increased, hierarchies flattened, and our ability to identify key targeted improvements increased to facilitate change and drive improvement. Conclusion We discovered that, if conducted well, with reflection as a key component, and the aim to promote a culture of learning and becoming, RCA can be used as a powerful teaching tool in training, and to promote improved patient care. As more staff engaged in our new RCA process, feedback indicated an increase in resilience and a more open culture of learning, unhindered by more traditional elements of reflective learning.

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A national survey on the uterotonic use for the prevention of postpartum haemorrhage (2019)

Type of publication:
Conference abstract

Author(s):
*Stephanou M.; Gallos I.; Coomarasamy A.

Citation:
BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology; Jun 2019; vol. 126 ; p. 148-149

Abstract:
Objective: To map the current national practice of the first line uterotonic drug given for the prevention of
postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) at both vaginal and caesarean section deliveries. Design A prospective national survey was carried out by contacting maternity units by means of telephone contact. Survey questions were set out to evaluate the uterotonic drug of choice in accordance with local hospital policy which was then compared with national guidance.
Methods: Maternity units across England were identified using the NHS Maternity Statistics 2016-2017 data available from NHS Digital. 136 NHS trusts were identified and 143 maternity units were contacted. Responses were collected by means of telephone communication with each of the maternity units. Maternity governance leads were the first point of contact followed by labour ward coordinators and senior labour ward doctors. The Health Research Authority Ethics toolkit was applied and determined that Research and Ethics council approval was not required.
Results: All 143 maternity units identified were contacted to answer the survey. 118 (82.5%) responses were obtained for the uterotonic of choice used for the prevention of postpartum haemorrhage at vaginal birth, of which 75 (63.5%) maternity units administered oxytocin with ergometrine combination as the first-line uterotonic. 116 (81%) responses were collected for the uterotonic of choice at caesarean section, where 95 (81.9%) administered intravenous oxytocin as first line.
Conclusion: The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) and World Health Organization (WHO)
guidelines recommend oxytocin as the first-line uterotonic of choice for the prevention of postpartum
haemorrhage. This survey has shown that current UK practice conflicts with both international and national guidance, favouring oxytocin with ergometrine over oxytocin alone at vaginal birth. Postpartum haemorrhage is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality; it is recommended that further attention be paid towards the first line uterotonic agent used for the prevention of a PPH in line with the most current up to date evidence.

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