Myths and realities of training in obstetric emergencies

Timothy J. Draycott, Katherine J. Collins*, Joanna F. Crofts, Dimitrios Siassakos, Cathy Winter, Carl P. Weiner, Fiona Donald

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Training for intrapartum emergencies is a promising strategy to reduce preventable harm during birth; however, not all training is clinically effective. Many myths have developed around such training. These principally derive from misinformed beliefs that all training must be effective, cheap, independent of context and sustainable. The current evidence base for effective training supports local, unit-based and multi-professional training, with appropriate mannequins, and practice-based tools to support the best care. Training programmes based on these principles are associated with improved clinical outcomes, but we need to understand how and why that is, and also why some training is associated with no improvements, or even deterioration in outcomes. Effective training is not cheap, but it can be cost-effective. Insurers have the fiscal power to incentivise training, but they should demand the evidence of clinical effect; aspiration and proxies alone should no longer be sufficient for funding, in any resource setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1067-1076
Number of pages10
JournalBest Practice and Research: Clinical Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015


  • Effective training
  • Implementation
  • Multi-professional
  • Obstetric emergencies
  • Simulation
  • Teamworking


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