When We Move to Plan B

As some of you may know, I’m currently working on my Masters of Midwifery at Midwives College of Utah, where I’m also a core faculty member. Much of my research and work in this program is centering on interprofessional collaboration (IPC)–or different providers/practitioners working effectively together so that clients have the best, safest experiences possible. Specifically, I’m focusing on community midwife/EMS relations during emergency transports.

Emergency transports (for my purposes, transports where 911 is activated) are relatively rare. In fact, intrapartum and immediate postpartum transports range from about 8-20% for most community midwives in general, and the vast majority of those are not emergency transports. It is important that we think about transport as something that is sometimes, unfortunately, necessary. Not, as it is so often considered, as a failure. In fact, safe transport improves the safety of community birth altogether. Indeed, when interviewing midwives for information about their transfer rates, it is important not to over-value a very low transport rate. A moderate rate suggests a safe, conservative practitioner. Too low and s/he might be taking risks that would be better managed in the hospital; too high and it might mean an impatient midwife or one who didn’t do adequate risk assessment before labor starts.

Sometimes we do need to utilize emergency services in order to get to the (right place in the) hospital as fast as possible. When 911 is called, it’s important that we are all working together as efficiently and effectively as possible. Hence, my interest in IPC.

You can expect to see little tidbits about this topic posted here as I work through my program.

Today, I wanted to share this resource: Best Practice Guidelines: Transfer from Home Birth to Hospital. Here you’ll find  literature, rationale, assistance for adapting the guidelines to your community, and model forms, This website is the culmination of  the work of some of the brightest minds in midwifery and medicine. It offers many tools for providers and hospitals to streamline their transport protocols so that we can all reach our shared goal: a safe birth where the family is well-supported.

I hope you’ll come back from time to time to check on my progress!