Medical libraries / CPS-Kangu

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Comments from nursing students and midwives on the "Maternity and Health" handbook

Antoinette Tsumbu – Nurse- midwife at the Kangu Mayumbe maternity service

I was on duty one night at the Kangu maternity service when I saw a baby's arm emerging from the [patient's] vagina. I was panic stricken. Our obstetrics professor, Dr André, had told us that after the arm, the head and trunk had to come out together, which is impossible. Without immediate action, the baby was certain to die and the mother's death would follow within hours. I knew there was a technique that Doctor André had explained to us. I went directly to check the "Maternity and Health" handbook, which fortunately was available on site. I re-read the description of the manœuver. With my hand, I had to push the arm back in and look for a foot. Then I had to pull out the baby's foot and first leg, followed by the second leg, and finally pull the baby out by the breech. I did that and was lucky enough to see the baby survive. I was really in a panic because I had never performed this manoeuvre before.

Joséphine Kobo – Nurse-midwife at Nzobe Luzi

While I was examining a woman in labour, I saw that my finger was penetrating the placenta. I knew that this was a case of placenta prævia. We had learned about placenta praevia in our obstetrics course. It is clearly explained in the "Maternity and Health" handbook. There was only one solution: a caesarean. I immediately alerted the doctor and within the hour the baby had been safely delivered.

Monique Umba – Nursing student at Kizu Medical School

During a delivery I was monitoring at the maternity service, I saw that the baby was emerging with the umbilical cord around its neck. Blood was not circulating through the cord so the baby was in danger of death by strangulation. I immediately used the vacuum to complete the delivery within three minutes and I was able to resuscitate the baby easily. The vacuum technique is clearly explained in the "Maternity and Health" handbook.