Development and pilot testing of a context-relevant safe anesthesia checklist for cesarean delivery in East Africa

Louise A. Alexander, Mark W. Newton, Kendall G. McEvoy, Micah J. Newton, Mary Mungai, Mary Dimiceli-Zsigmond, Bantayehu Sileshi, Scott C. Watkins, Matthew D. McEvoy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Maternal mortality rate in developing countries is 20 times higher than in developed countries. Detailed reports surrounding maternal deaths have noted an association between substandard management during emergency events and death. In parallel with these findings, there is increasing evidence for cognitive aids as a means to prevent errors during perioperative crises. However, previously published findings are not directly applicable to cesarean delivery in low-income settings. Our hypothesis was that the use of obstetric anesthesia checklists in the management of high-fidelity simulated obstetrical emergency scenarios would improve adherence to best practice guidelines in low- and middle-income countries. METHODS: Accordingly, with input from East African health care professionals, we created a context-relevant obstetric anesthesia checklist for cesarean delivery. Second, clinical observations were performed to assess in a real-world setting. Third, a pilot testing of the cognitive aid was undertaken. RESULTS: Clinical observation data highlighted significant deficiencies in the management of obstetric emergencies. The use of the cesarean delivery checklist during simulations of peripartum hemorrhage and preeclampsia showed significant improvement in the percentage of completed actions (pretraining 23% ± 6% for preeclampsia and 22% ± 13% for peripartum hemorrhage, posttraining 75% ± 9% for preeclampsia, and 69% ± 9% for peripartum hemorrhage [P <.0001, both scenarios; data as mean ± standard deviation]). CONCLUSIONS: We developed, evaluated, and begun implementation of a context-relevant checklist for the management of obstetric crisis in low- and middle-income countries. We demonstrated not only the need for this tool in a real-world setting but also confirmed its potential efficacy through a pilot simulation study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)993-998
Number of pages6
JournalAnesthesia and analgesia
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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