Course Introduces U.S. Medical Students, First Responders to Handling Obstetric Emergencies

New Curriculum Available May 15

April 17, 2012 04:00 pm Matt Brown

The AAFP soon will be offering a Basic Life Support in Obstetrics (BLSO) course tailored to U.S. medical and nursing students, emergency medical technicians, and other first responders. According to Diana Winslow, R.N., AAFP manager of maternity care and patient safety, the program was developed to prepare first responders to manage normal labor and obstetric emergencies.

[Stock photo of pregnant woman]

"This program is an abbreviated version of the two-day Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics (ALSO) program," Winslow explained. "It is designed to help first responders be more comfortable when they have to transport women who are in labor or who are pregnant and may be having problems."

ALSO Instructors to Start Using New Manual

Sponsors of Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics (ALSO) courses to be held on or after May 1 will be required to purchase a new instructor manual (5th edition, February 2012) for each faculty member who does not yet own one. All instructors will be required to teach from this new ALSO manual as of that date.

According to Winslow, the AAFP will administer the program, providing all of the materials for the one-day BLSO course, which will be taught in small groups at the local level.

"The evidence-based curriculum will be available as of May 15th for anyone interested in sponsoring a course," she told AAFP News Now. Facilities or groups interested in serving as course sponsors are invited to contact Carla Cherry at (913) 906-6000, Ext. 6554.

A community-based version of BLSO has been available for developing countries since 2009. Unlike the version used elsewhere, however, the course designed for use in the United States offers a manual for pre-course study and post-course review. Other components of the course include hands-on workshops and case-based discussions that focus on areas such as prehospital resuscitation, communication in transit and transition to hospital care.

Current ALSO advisory faculty and approved instructors have the opportunity to serve as faculty for BLSO courses. Designated advisory faculty must have served as course director for an ALSO provider course; achieved ALSO approved instructor status; completed and submitted an application form, along with a letter of recommendation from a current advisory faculty member; and received final approval from the ALSO Advisory Board.

A general BLSO course overview is available on the Academy website. A schedule of upcoming BLSO courses also will be made available as dates are set.


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