Midwives and Doctors take part in National Collaborative

Midwife, Lee-Anne Burnett, Dr Mat Epee, Dr Sebastian Leathersich with midwives Carly Thompson and Maddy Pearce
Midwife, Lee-Anne Burnett, Dr Mat Epee, Dr Sebastian Leathersich with midwives Carly Thompson and Maddy Pearce
August 22, 2018

A team of KEMH midwives and doctors are taking part in a Women’s Healthcare Australasia (WHA) National Collaborative, to improve outcomes for women through reducing avoidable third and fourth degree tears.
 
As part of their involvement, the travel team attended workshops in Sydney, Melbourne and most recently in Brisbane - where they received a ‘Commendation Award- for being an exemplar team’. 
 

The project involves collecting data from KEMH Labour Ward and Family Birth Centre births and applying simple interventions to improve outcomes for women.

Since starting the collaborative, the WHA reports the incidence of third/fourth degree tears in the participating hospitals has collectively gone from 6.4 per cent down to 4.8 per cent.
 
Family Birth Centre Staff Development Midwife Carly Thompson said the project would have a significant impact on women birthing at KEMH.
 
“KEMH benchmarked well in this area - starting with a relatively low rate of third and fourth degree tears comparatively,” she said.
 
“But we still chose to take part in the collaborative with hopes we could improve outcomes for women further.”

So far, key improvements have included:

· Putting a warm compress on the perineum during stretching
· Slow, controlled birth
· The trauma being reviewed by a second experienced clinician.
 
With the opportunity to further reduce third and fourth degree tear rates at KEMH, these interventions will become business as usual when the collaborative project is finalised in December 2018.