Childbirth mannequin helps train IU Health medical residents

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INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — IU Health residents are using a childbirth mannequin to simulate the birth process in the most technologically advanced way possible.

The entire process can be simulated through realistic mannequins, like IU Health’s mannequin Lucina, which helps medical residents train for the real thing.

“I’m Dr. Croft. I’m going to be helping to deliver you today,” IU Health resident Alex Croft said Monday to a mannequin lying on a hospital bed.

The mannequin screamed back in simulated pain.

“You’ve got to push!” Croft said back.

“I want an epidural!” the mannequin yelled.

It may sound like some real births, but it’s actually a training session.

“Here’s your baby, Lucina!” simulation specialist Chassity Mays told the mannequin as trainees helped with the delivery simulation.

From the noises she makes to the 5-pound baby that she births, Lucina is a mannequin that simulates the birth experiences of a real woman.

“She’s pretty real,” Mays said. “She can pretty much do it all.”

“Most of the mannequins do a lot of the things that you or I would do,” Croft said. “You suspend disbelief for a second and really get caught up in it.”

Lucina has been in operation for the last year and a half at IU Health. Those who use her are able to gain a lot of experience quickly.

“When I was a nursing student, when I went through my OB rotation, it’s kind of feast or famine,” Mays said. “I only got to see one natural delivery. So now we can bring them in and create multiple deliveries a day.”

At most, the $80,000 mannequin delivered 30 births in one day, and every single one can simulate a different birth process.

“Common issues with shoulder dystocias of the baby, delivered headfirst or feet first or cord wrapped around the neck,” said simulation technician Ryan Stambro said. “It’s a way for us to make sure we can be able to give the residents and the nursing students and nurses the proper training without affecting a real human life, or two in this case.”

The experience helps prepare medical professionals and instill patients with extra confidence.

“We do have numerous mannequins and task trainers to make sure that the public is confident in the training that the doctors and nurses are receiving before they get in the actual hospital,” Stambro said.

Lucina is a cutting-edge example of training mannequins, but IU Health says that technology is rapidly evolving, and they could eventually see even more realism in birth trainings.

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