The Advocate and Scientific Advisory Board met to discuss progress on developing fetal mannikins 

The Advocate and Scientific Advisory Board met to discuss progress on developing fetal mannikins

After a longer break, the Advocate Advisory Board and Scientific Advisory Board of the PLS project met on May 13th. Several ‘experience experts’ are represented in the ‘Advocate Advisory Board, and scientific experts in the Scientific Advisory Board. Due to logistical reasons and the high scientific literacy of its members the two boards meet at the same time. An online live meeting was held whereby project progress and other important topics to the members were discussed. 

On May 13th members discussed the progress of one of the project’s pillars “Developing mannikins mimicking fetal anatomy and physiology” (WP3). The meeting started with a short presentation by Frank Delbressine (TU Eindhoven), followed by a lively discussion about different topics. 

One of the technical topics discussed concerned the question about the extent of cyanosis acceptable during the transfer of the fetus from the womb into the perinatal life support device.  

Cyanosis, or the bluish-purple body tissue color indicating low amounts of oxygen, is normal for the fetus in the womb and it is desired that the fetus stays cyanotic during the transfer. The PLS project aims to build a perinatal life support device which can mimic the conditions in the womb, including its watery environment. It is therefore crucial that the fetus doesn’t start breathing through its lungs during the transfer. For this reason, the project develops several devices to measure cyanosis and oxygen saturation in the fetus.  

During the AAB/SAB meeting Frank Delbressine elaborated on the project’s progress in measuring cyanosis of the mouth and nose area and answered the members’ questions and addressed their concerns. 
During the meeting, important ethical questions were also raised and discussed such as “Can the mother see the fetus during transfer?”. Also, very practical questions such as “Will the gloves [during transfer] be suitable for left and right-handed people?” were a topic of discussion. 

The project’s members value the feedback they get from the ‘experience experts’ as well as the scientific feedback they receive and believe that a diverse evaluation greatly improves the project’s output and outcome.