Travis first in AF to receive advanced birthing simulator

  • Published
  • By Louis Briscese
  • 60th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – David Grant USAF Medical Center at Travis Air Force Base, California, is debuting a state-of-the-art birth simulator that will enhance the obstetric capabilities of its nurses, providers and technicians.


Providers and staff at DGMC’s Maternal Child Flight, part of the 60th Inpatient Squadron, will now use the Complicated OB Emergency Simulator, which replaces the previous simulator, called the Mobile Obstetric Emergency Simulator. The COES is an improved training platform that will enhance the quality of analysis and feedback available from training sessions.


“The Defense Health Agency purchased five of the COES for the Department of Defense and chose Travis as the pilot base for the Air Force to provide the training and necessary feedback,” said Maj. Jeanette Brogan, a clinical nurse specialist with the 60th IPTS.

If successful, the COES will be a standardized training platform that all clinical staff can train on to improve their obstetric skills.


One of the main capabilities of the new COES is the data reporting and tracking system it now features.


“We now can provide a standardized training platform for all clinical staff, which promotes a standardization for patient safety,” said Theresa Hart, a nurse consultant and the program manager for perinatal, pediatrics and special medical programs within the DHA.

It will also help Travis document how they perform as a team.

“The computer instantly gathers data on how we work as a team and sends that information to the Air Force Medical Operations Agency and DHA,” said Capt. Tamara Grimaud, the MCF commander and a clinical nurse specialist with the 60th IPTS.

The new equipment sends the data automatically, so evaluators get real-time updates on which providers are doing what tasks as well as an immediate after action report, she added.


Under the MOES, data was sent manually through an email and contained information about the type of training conducted, who attended and training results. The new system helps providers and staff achieve the overall goal to increase patient safety while standardizing clinical processes.

The MCF conducts weekly trainings to hone their skills and prepare for emergencies. The scenarios are mandatory for all nurses and technicians assigned to the unit.

“All the scenarios we perform are considered high risk and low volume,” said Brogan. “They’re not things that happen every day but when they do, we need to know what to do and do it right away. It’s important to know how the scenario goes, how quickly we respond to the emergency, and the actions we’ve taken to resolve the emergency.”

The COES also comes with an infant and birthing simulator, a feature not available with the previous MOES simulator. The advantage of this is that scenario-based training can now be conducted on newborns, such as respiratory failure and the amount of pressure being applied when providing care.

“The infant and birthing simulator enhances the system’s capabilities by providing necessary training that wasn’t possible under the MOES,” said Lt. Col. Barton Staat, the Air Force Surgeon General consultant for obstetrics and maternal-fetal medicine. “You can actually record the amount of force and pressure being applied during unusual birthing scenarios, like a shoulder dystocia delivery, for example.”

The MCF has been at the forefront of advanced obstetrics training, even before receiving the COES. More frequent training by the flight led to the development of an improved algorithm used to help newborns breathe after delivery.

“We’ve had a lot of success with the training and improved the way we resuscitate babies by eliminating compressions,” said Brogan. “Most of the time it is a respiratory issue that gives a newborn breathing problems; because of the frequency of the training and how skilled we’ve become, we don’t even get to the compression stage anymore.”

Because of these results, Travis plans to share information and best practices with other OB units around the Air Force.

The DOD performs more than 50,000 deliveries every year in its medical facilities worldwide, with Travis performing 30 to 35 deliveries each month on average.

“Most of the patients we see at this facility are low risk,” said Capt. Danielle Siler, an element leader with the 60th IPTS. “Occasionally you have an emergency situation, and those are the ones we practice for. It might not be something we’re anticipating, but at delivery something shows up and we have to be ready to respond.”

The new high-tech simulation equipment and training objectives are invaluable in helping prepare for each and every situation, said Siler.