Here is an update on LifeWrap NASG. It’s been a while since we’ve had time to pause and write an update. The LifeWrap NASG is making so many birthing families, women, children, health care providers, and health systems safer and empowered. Here are some of the stories we hear as we continue our ongoing efforts to make sure that the LifeWrap is affordable, accessible, and that anyone who wants to learn how to use one can easily and rapidly learn to be a life saver.
Robert, Dar Es Salam, Obstetrician and LifeWrap Champion: I am an obstetrician and a researcher in rural Tanzania. As soon as I heard about this device I wanted to be involved in working with it. Prof Suellen and Michelle came to work with us in Geita, Shinyanga, Singida, and Rukwa. We trained hundreds of workers. We visited them and helped support them. We saved many women and changed the health care system in rural health clinics and dispensaries. Even though the “project” is over, I continue to work on making LifeWraps available everywhere. Working on this project has changed my life.
Precious, Llwala Community, Kenya, Mother: Two hours after giving birth, I started to feel week and cold, then I felt like I was in a lake of blood. My nurse midwife said I was white and pale. She called for help and wrapped me up in a big green rubber suit. My mother held my baby and started crying and praying. I don’t know what happened, but I stopped bleeding. God bless this miracle suit.
Ayo Ankyodo, Nurse-Midwife, Lagos,
Nigeria: Before the LifeWrap came to our health center there was nothing we
could do to save a bleeding woman. I was
afraid because I couldn’t do anything, we had nothing. After we learned to use the suit we were
able to stop bleeding and send women to
Endorsed and Recommended:
American College of Nurse Midwives
American College of Obstetricians Gynecologists
Royal College of Nurse Midwives
Royal College of Ob/Gyns
International Federation of Ob/Gyns (FIGO) and it’s country and regional affiliates
World Health Organization
UNCoLAC (United Nations Commission on Life Saving Commodities
International Federation of Red
Cross and Cresent
Starting in 2002 UCSF with funding from generous personal donors, foundations, and, eventually the National Institutes of Health, the “LifeWrap” Non-pneumatic Anti-Shock Garment (NASG) went from being a discarded technology that no one ever used to a global maternal life saver. Studies UCSF and international partners conducted from 2002-2013 demonstrated efficacy, reducing maternal mortality by ~50% across a wide variety of countries, geographical settings, and levels of the health care system. After we demonstrated efficacy, the LifeWrap was added to the World Health Organization’s list of global recommendations for the management of Post Partum Hemorrhage. In 2018, the LifeWrap/NASG was included in the World Health Organization’s official PPH Bundle, which is a package of technologies that are recommended to be used with every woman who hemorrhages. In some states like Karnataka India of Lagos Nigeria LifeWraps are mandated for every maternal health facility, while in other places, whole countries have scaled up use; Ethiopia, Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste, and Colombia all have national programs. These programs often include placing LifeWraps on all ambulances so that the LifeWrap goes to the place where a woman is hemorrhaging and carries her safely to a higher level facility.
We find the actions of individual providers and health care systems amazing, sometimes one or two people just decide that LifeWraps are necessary and they just start programs and projects on their own. For example, in Mexico, Dr. Paulo Meade travels around rural San Luis Potosi, distributing LifeWraps and training parteras and doctors. Our UCSF team tres to join the regional, national, and local teams as they work to implement LifeWrap programs.
We also hold webinars in order to train people across the globe, we have made training videos and curriculum available without charge on our website (www.safemotherhood.ucsf.edu). We have also worked with UNICEF, UNFPA, IFRC, and other humanitarian agencies so that our materials, can be used in crisis settings.
Working with UNICEF and the Clinton Health Access Initiative we were able to work with a manufacturer to reduce the cost for low income countries. While UCSF had paid $170.00 per NASG from a US-based distributor. The BlueFuzion group in Hong Kong reduced the price to ~ $60.00 (dependent on quantity) for low income countries. Reusable > 100xs, the LifeWrap NASG is extremely cost effective.
Training and practice are a big part of what we do. Here we have trained the doctors and midwives and now they are training the ambulance drivers to be able to help the woman survive the transport.
This mother’s life was saved using the LifeWrap, she gave birth in rural Tanzania. Our small team from the US, Michelle Skaer and I, were in Lwala with the local team from the Lwala Community Alliance, holding the first training. We were sleeping in a dorm near the health clinic, and we had the LifeWraps with us as we were going to finish the training the next morning. In the middle of the night a team from the clinic were banging on our door, “We need to use it, now!” They rushed it up to the woman and placed it themselves, Such was the motivation and dedication of this team, empowered to save mother’s lives.
Please view our Videos on
Countries Using Life Wraps (2020)
Papua New Guinea