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Agencies are working together for expectant mothers in Redmond

Author: Ben Salmon, 6/26/2019 8:00:00 AM

From left, Redmond EMT Josh Rodke and engineer/paramedic Garrett Robertson train for a precipitous delivery as St. Charles Redmond RN Meggen Ditmore, middle, looks on.

Last week, paramedics from Redmond Fire & Rescue and caregivers from the St. Charles Redmond Emergency Department gathered together for joint training on precipitous baby deliveries – meaning the baby is born within three hours of the onset of regular contractions.

On an early Wednesday morning, four Redmond Fire paramedics worked in tandem around a “pregnant” mannequin, learning processes and procedures from Meggen Ditmore, an RN in the Redmond Family Birthing Center, and Candy Peplin, an RN and neonatal transport specialist at St. Charles Bend.

The two nurses would call out conditions for “mother” and “baby,” setting off a flurry of activity among the paramedics. As conditions changed, so did the response.

The hands-on simulation is the result of months of work by nurses from the Redmond Emergency Department and Family Birthing Center, Respiratory Therapy and the Clinical Practice Professional Development team, with guidance from their leadership, Redmond ED Nurse Manager Amy Leath and Redmond FBC Nurse Manager Melissa Smith, and in partnership with Doug Kelly, chief of Redmond Fire’s EMS division. The idea was twofold: To ensure practices are aligned across various agencies, and also to create a culture in which emergency responders in the community are learning and growing together, Leath said.

“With the closure of the Redmond FBC (on July 13), we wanted to make sure our community is safe and all taken care of, but we also wanted to align our care. So (Redmond Fire) is getting a large portion of the education that we’re providing to our ED nurses,” she said.

Kelly said Redmond Fire has trained with St. Charles in the past, usually to prepare for a mass casualty event. This was the first time the groups got together for something more medical in nature, he said, and the benefit goes far beyond just the paramedics in his department.

"It's a good thing for the community because we always want to be prepared to handle any kind of emergency, and now the likelihood of a precipitous delivery may increase with the closure," Kelly said. "So our people will be freshly trained on it, and that's really the goal whether it's childbirth or trauma or cardiac arrest. We want to be able to do the job safely, effectively and also efficiently." 

Plans for the joint training were in the works well before the FBC closure was announced, Leath said, because emergent deliveries are a possibility regardless of the status of nearby facilities.

“There’s always the potential (of this happening) in the field, in our parking lot, in our waiting room,” she said. “We want to prepare our nurses in case a delivery does happen in our ED, so this is really just providing the education on those high-level things they need to know, even to recognize that this is going to be a precipitous delivery.”

Going forward, agencies in Redmond plan to meet regularly to talk through various cases and situations, and also work toward training in other areas of care, as well, Leath said.

“This was our first big piece that we bit off,” she said. “Our vision is to start doing more of this and to support our community partners in helping to provide care to our patients.”