UNM Docs Assist with Obstetrical Emergencies

September 18, 2006

Contact: Lauren Cruse (505) 272-3690


Albuquerque, N.M.-Obstetrical care in Mexico recently took one step further thanks to the efforts of several University of New Mexico School of Medicine (UNM SOM) faculty physicians. This past August in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, a team of four UNM SOM faculty and two New Mexico midwives taught the first ever Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics (ALSO) provider and instructor courses.

Led by Dr. Larry Leeman from UNM Family and Community Medicine, and Obstetrics and Gynecology (Ob/Gyn), the ALSO courses provided physicians and midwives a standardized approach to the management of urgent clinical situations during pregnancy and childbirth. Areas of focus included postpartum hemorrhage, pre-eclampsia and operative vaginal delivery.

Joining Dr. Leeman in directing the courses was Dr. Sarah Gopman from UNM Family and Community Medicine, and two UNM Ob/Gyn specialists, Dr. Eve Espey and Dr. Tony Ogburn. Midwifery teachers included certified nurse midwives Rebecca Leeman of Women's Specialists in Albuquerque and Claire Bettler of Zuni Indian Health Service. Dr. Leeman previously helped introduce ALSO into Ecuador, Guatemala, and Honduras. The recent Mexican ALSO courses were also an international collaboration with instructors coming from these three Latin American countries.

Over 90 physicians, with backgrounds in Ob/Gyn, general medicine and emergency medicine, and two midwives completed the provider courses while 25 participants completed the instructor portion.

The Centro Para los Adolescentes de San Miguel de Allende (CASA) Maternity Hospital, Mexico's first and only professional midwifery training program, and the School of Professional Midwifery also participated in the courses and had two midwives become instructors. Dr. Espey, Dr. Ogburn and Dr. Leeman met with the directors of CASA to plan future developments of collaborative educational and research efforts with UNM's Center for Reproductive Health. The CASA Maternity Hospital provides model family planning and adolescent sexual education programs.

ALSO is one of many courses organized through the Pan American Collaboration for Emergency Medicine Development (PACEMD) program, founded by Dr. Haywood Hall, UNM SOM Assistant Clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine. In 1997, Dr. Hall established PACEMD in the Mexican state of Guanajauto and its city San Miguel de Allende to improve the specialty of emergency medicine throughout Mexico and Latin America.

The PACEMD program was created based on multinational humanitarianism and emergency medicine professionalism. With PACEMD offering programs that disseminate emergency medicine culture, knowledge, service and training, more health care professionals in Mexico and Latin America are beginning to give the best possible care during emergency situations.

To learn more about the PACEMD program, visitwww.pacemd.org.

Related Stories

Elemental Research

Elemental Research

UNM Wins Five-Year $11.5 Million Grant for Center for Metals in Biology and Medicine