2009 Dr. Frank H. Netter Award Recipient:
Limbs and Things’ PROMPT Birthing Simulator

Visual communication in the health sciences comes in many forms these days. Simulators are an example of biomedical visualization that has a direct and significant impact on the way healthcare is taught and practiced.

Eight years of research went into the design and development of the remarkable PROMPT Birthing Simulator. This training device teaches practitioners how to handle a variety of delivery situations including the unpredictable obstetric emergency of shoulder dystocia. When it is not handled well, shoulder dystocia results in brachial plexus injury and even death to the baby and serious injury to the mother.

When medical emergencies occur, novices are frequently pushed out of the way as experts deal with critical situations. Without direct, hands-on experience, it is difficult (if not impossible) to develop the psychomotor skills and sensitivity to handle unusual situations. This is where a high-fidelity simulator is effective in providing training. The PROMPT birthing simulator offers a safe environment where learners practice deliveries and develop sensitivity in the application of force to avoid serious injury. Studies have shown training on the PROMPT simulator reduces injury due to shoulder dystocia.

Through a lengthy iterative process of refining models, the Limbs and Things team developed realistic newborn and mother models. The current sophisticated models overcame many obstacles to withstand the physical stresses of the birthing process. The mother model features moveable legs to simulate multiple delivery positions. It has a realistic bony pelvis with durable and stretchable skin that can be detached to allow trainees to see internal maneuvers and fetal position. The baby model is the weight of a newborn child. It has palpable fontanelles, suture lines, clavicles and scapulae. There is a detachable placenta and umbilical cord. In addition, the baby has an internal electronic strain gauge, which provides time and stress feedback for the management of shoulder dystocia.

The Vesalius Trust is proud to recognize the PROMPT Birthing Simulator for its significant impact on the improvement of healthcare delivery.