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New Jersey hospital staff uses mannequins to reduce birth injury

Doctors and nurses at a New Jersey hospital recently delivered a 2 lb baby boy and like most premature births, the experience wasn't typical.

However, this was primarily because the mother and the baby boy, named Noelle and Hal, weren't living humans. They were mannequins, also known as high-fidelity simulators, designed to help hospital staff avoid complications such as birth injury.

Baby Hal's head was stuck during the delivery, in a condition known as shoulder dystocia. In these cases, the baby's head and one shoulder is delivered, but the second shoulder remains wedged in the mother's pelvis.

These situations using high-fidelity simulators are common in medical schools, but they're often not deployed in a real hospital setting. The New Jersey hospital wants to change that. The hospital currently has three mannequins, the mother and baby, and a 5-year-old boy, also named Hal.

The mother and baby mannequins are worth $80,000 and can help hospital staff train for a number of situations, including post-partum hemorrhage, an emergency c-section, umbilical cord prolapse and a mother's cardiac arrest. The mannequins allow staff members to come up with treatment plans in a safe environment.

The mannequins aren't just used in the labor and delivery department. They can be used throughout the hospital in a number of different departments. Each one is wireless and programmable, which means that hospital higher-ups can create one-of-a-kind situations to test and train staff members. Staff members report that the simulations leave them feeling better prepared for emergency situations and increase communication between doctors, nurses and other staff members.

If someone you love has suffered from a birth injury due to an error during delivery or other negligence, he or she may be entitled to medical expenses and other damages. Doctors and hospitals have a full staff on their side and victims of medical malpractice deserve the same.

Source: NJ.com, "Valley Hospital staff delivery mannequin baby, live-tweet complicated birth" Kames Kleimann, Mar. 10, 2014

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