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Introducing C-Celia: The New Cesarean Section Simulation Prototype

October 1, 2012

Obstructed labor is a leading cause of neonatal and maternal death in developing countries. Often the only way to save both mother and baby’s lives in cases of obstructed labor is to intervene surgically, though there are unfortunately far too few health professionals trained and capable of providing lifesaving cesarean section procedures in these regions and mortality rates remain high.

Owen Montgomery, MD, Chair of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department at the Drexel College of Medicine, along with his colleague Robert Buckman, MD, has created a prototype that could offer fast and effective cesarean section training to non-obstetric surgeons around the world. Their cesarean section manikin prototype C-Celia provides both education and assessment opportunities for medical, nursing, and health professions students in the United States as well as for surgical technician and midwife training in developing countries. Using C-Celia to teach and assess students can significantly truncate training time, eliminating years of classroom work and almost immediately increasing the workforce of life saving surgery providers around the world tenfold.

C-Celia was created in answer to the Grand Challenges in Global Health Grant. Approximately 670 applicants submitted their ideas for the Saving Lives at Birth category. From this pool, 77 finalists were selected, followed by just 19 awardees. Drexel’s own C-Celia was given the number 1 honor. The manikin was revealed to the public for the first time in May at the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) meeting in San Diego.

Dean Gloria Donnelly was present for the second-ever public appearance and first-ever trainee demonstration of C-Celia at this year’s ACOG Junior Fellow Day, which was hosted in the CNHP Simulation Lab. The dean was gloved and gowned and stood side-by-side with students as they performed a cesarean section surgery on the manikin. Even senior-level residents were shocked by how lifelike a simulation C-Celia offers; fake blood is pressurized so that it rushes into the open cavity if the correct actions are not taken in time. C-Celia also has the potential to allow both student trainees as well as experienced obstetricians opportunities to practice rare complications like placental accreta and emergency hysterectomy.