Denver College of Nursing Students Give Peruvian Midwives, Villagers Healthcare Support

Monday, May 16, 2016 7:00 PM

Students Train Peruvian Midwives, 100 Villagers about Resuscitation with Infant Simulator

Working with a newborn inflatable simulator known as NeoNatalie, five Denver College of Nursing (DCN) students ( teamed with two nonprofits, DB Peru and Helping Babies Breathe, to train lay midwives in remote Peruvian villages about techniques to resuscitate newborns, said Marguerite Distel, RN, assistant professor and academic coordinator of DCN’s Global Health Perspectives (GHP) program.

“On our way out to the villages and tribal communities along the Napo River, we worked at the crowded health outpost of Mazan, a larger village located on the isthmus between the Amazon and Napo Rivers. We participated in a Helping Babies Breathe (HBB) training where the two trainers not only had been in Denver one year ago and knew of DCN but also were giving training to midwives in eight regions of the Amazon,” said Sue Hammerton, DCN adjunct professor of pharmacology.

DCN students, accompanied by Hammerton, Christina Bruce, Caitlin Connett, Brianna Essman, Kelly Lake and Ellis Whalen traveled by boat to all the remote Peruvian areas to participate in general adult nursing care, health education to villagers and vaccinations.

A key concept of HBB is The Golden Minute. Within one minute of birth, a baby should be breathing well or should be ventilated with a bag and mask. The Golden Minute identifies the steps that a birth attendant must take immediately after birth to evaluate the baby and stimulate breathing.

“When working with all the 31 midwives and health providers —including one male midwife—we decided not to use the mask for resuscitation since masks are in short supply in the jungle. We emphasized The Golden Minute, mouth-to-mouth and the gentle blow of air in our training. The midwives embraced the simulation and went on to get training in breast and cervical cancer checks, PAP smears, glucose checks and other wellness and prevention methodologies,” Hammerton noted.