The Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics Course
A National Program to Enhance Obstetric Emergency Skills and to Support Maternity Care Practice
John W. Beasley, MD;
James R. Damos, MD;
Richard G. Roberts, MD, JD;
Thomas S. Nesbitt, MD
Arch Fam Med. 1994;3(12):1037-1041.
Unexpected emergencies occur during routine maternity care. Perceived or actual deficiencies in training may decrease the quality of care and increase liability risks and anxiety among providers. This may lead the provider to discontinue obstetrics, which results in problems in access to care. To improve the training for obstetric emergency management, an Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics (ALSO) course was developed. This skillenhancing course, modeled after other life support courses, is designed to improve the quality and availability of maternity care through standardized training in the management of emergencies and improved communication between maternity care providers. A total of 1315 physicians and nurses attended 35 ALSO courses from 1991 through 1993. Seventy-six percent were family physicians in practice; 20% were from rural areas. About 15% were in hospitals with no obstetricians or pediatricians on staff. Attendees reported a significant increase in their level of comfort in the management of obstetric emergencies and a greater intention to continue maternity care.
From the Department of Family Medicine, University of Wisconsin Medical School, Madison (Drs Beasley, Damos, and Roberts) and the University of California—Davis, Sacramento, Calif (Dr Nesbitt). Members of the ALSO Development Group appear at the end of this article.