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Medic students use robot for hands-on childbirth practice

The robot can be programmed to experience a range of delivery scenarios

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Connecticut college paramedic students are getting hands-on experience delivering babies with the help of a robot.

The New Hampshire Register reported students in the program at the University of New Haven have been working with Victoria, an electronically advanced robot that can be programmed to present the students with a range of childbirth scenarios.

Victoria Gaumard, made by Gaumard Scientific of Miami, can be operated by instructors from a computer in a separate room.  The robot is equipped with fake amniotic fluid, blood and a baby that can be set to be born normally, breech or in other less common presentations. It also provides students with a traumatic episiotomy and can be programmed to respond to drug injections and epidurals.

“She’s as realistic as you can get at this time,” said William Seward, a paramedic and EMT with West Shore, a member of the UNH faculty and a simulation technician.

The baby can be programmed to cover various scenarios as well.

“We can program the baby to not cry when it comes out, to not breathe so it can be an emergent situation,” said Seward.

Logan Marsh, a junior and an EMT who has witnessed a birth in the field, said dealing with Victoria is a little different than in real-life.

“It was significantly quieter. There’s a lot more going on,” Marsh said.

Paul Clini, a faculty member and paramedic, said Victoria gives students the opportunity to learn in a realistic situation without endangering a patient if they make mistakes.

“Oftentimes it’s a test for them to see how they do on their own without any instructor involvement,” said Clini. “We can critique it with them.”

David Tauber, EMS education coordinator, said the students spend half of their non-classroom time with various robots.

“These manikins have brought the training we give our students above and beyond anything we had in our classes,” said Seward.

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