Ed Session Spotlight: Better Birth Checklist

With huge variations in mortality related to pregnancy and childbirth, a key question is how do midwives identify barriers to quality care and implement changes that we know will create improvements.

This is the subject of Division of Global Health’s research colloquium session, “Effectiveness of a Peer Coaching Program for Implementation of the WHO Safe Childbirth Checklist: The Better Birth Program for India.” This ed session (ES225), taking place on Monday, May 22, from 5:30 to 6:30 in Salon 5-A, will discuss the 29-item tool addressing the major complications accounting for maternal and perinatal deaths worldwide.

The backstory: In 2008, under the leadership of Dr. Atul Gawande and other leaders in medicine, WHO created a surgical checklist, a standardization of care in the operating theater to reduce disparities in quality and to standardize surgical practice to reduce human error and lead to improved surgical safety.

In the same light, the Safe Childbirth Checklist was born. It covers such potential life-threatening incidents as abnormal bleeding and hemorrhages, infection and the need for antibiotics, pre-eclampsia/eclampsia and antihypertensive treatment as well as identifying any issues the newborn may be having, such as difficult breathing, unusually cold or if baby is not feeding well at four critical checkpoints: on admission, just before pushing or before caesarean, soon after birth (within 1 hour) and before discharge.

This session will highlight the promising initial results of implementation of the checklist in Uttar Pradesh, India, and a key step towards improving maternal, fetal and newborn outcomes in countries across the globe. Join Us!  –By Yael Offer

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