Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics (ALSO®) Program Celebrates 20 Years, Care Improved for Hundreds of Thousands

Monday, Oct. 28, 2013

Megan Moriarty
Public Relations Strategist
American Academy of Family Physicians
(800) 274-2237 Ext. 6052

LEAWOOD, Kan. — Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics (ALSO®), a widely adopted training program credited with saving the lives of thousands of mothers and babies across the globe since its launch, celebrates its 20th anniversary this month.

ALSO is an evidence-based, multidisciplinary training program that prepares healthcare professionals to handle emergencies that can arise during pregnancy and childbirth. Through hands-on training, caregivers learn team-based approaches to mitigate several situations that can pose serious harm to mother and child, including postpartum hemorrhaging, shoulder dystocia and pre-eclampsia.

“When emergencies arise during pregnancy and childbirth, the potential consequences are especially tragic because there are two lives on the line,” said David Gregory, MD, chair of the ALSO advisory board. “But with proper clinical training, caregivers can usually mitigate the danger.”

Jim Damos, MD, began working in 1991 on the outline of the program that would become ALSO while he was a staff member in the family medicine department at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. In 1993, the American Academy of Family Physicians purchased the copyright to the program and its course materials, and began working to spread the training throughout the country and internationally.

To date, the ALSO program has been administered in 63 countries, training more than 80,000 health professionals. In the United States, nearly 70,000 caregivers have been trained, nearly two-thirds of whom were family medicine residents. Documented outcomes in numerous countries support the impact of the training. For example, in one hospital in Tanzania, after all healthcare professionals received the training the incidence of postpartum hemorrhage was reduced by 50 percent.

“What began with a single doctor in the Midwest has spread across the world and touched hundreds of thousands of lives,” said Gregory.

For more information on ALSO, visit the ALSO website.

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Founded in 1947, the American Academy of Family Physicians represents 134,600 physicians and medical students nationwide, and it is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.

Family physicians conduct approximately one in five of the total medical office visits in the United States per year – more than any other specialty. Family physicians provide comprehensive, evidence-based, and cost-effective care dedicated to improving the health of patients, families and communities. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing and personal patient-physician relationship where the family physician serves as the hub of each patient’s integrated care team. More Americans depend on family physicians than on any other medical specialty.

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