The aim is to revolutionise operative birth training and practice in the UK and globally, to optimise birth outcome for mothers and babies.
Together with the Wellcome / EPSRC Centre for Interventional and Surgical Sciences we will work with engineers and medical imaging experts to explore improved imaging of the mother, the fetus, and placenta during operative birth.
The WEISS Obstetric Surgery stream already has one 4-year PhD fellow working on the development of novel approaches using microsensors for operative birth research.
We also plan to use frugal engineering approaches to expand uptake of solutions to low-resource settings, so as to revolutionalise operative birth globally.
Our group has developed and coordinates with the RCOG delivery of the ROBUST operative birth training programme across the UK.
Dr Siassakos leads a large UK-wide collaboration applying for £2m funding to investigate which rotational technique is associated with better maternal and neonatal outcome and reduces perinatal injury – shortlisted for consideration by NIHR HTA.
Persistent malposition of the fetal head at full cervical dilatation affects 4% of women giving birth vaginally (30,000 per year in the UK) and is a strong predictor for poor maternal and neonatal outcomes such as anal sphincter injury and caesarean section There is no consensus as to which is the safest and most effective method of expediting birth. The ROTATE study (£1.8m) will determine if manual rotation is superior to instrumental rotation for women and their babies with malposition in the second stage. This will enable national guidelines and training to identify and facilitate the mode of birth that promotes outcomes that are important to women and their families. ROTATE is a pragmatic, multicentre, 2-arm parallel group, open-label randomised controlled trial with an internal pilot. A total sample of 5,200 women from approximately 40 sites will be recruited.
Dr Siassakos is collaborating with the University of Bristol (Prof Jane Blazeby) in a portfolio of studies exploring site-specific-infection after caesarean section.
We are working to optimise consent for operative birth, and operative birth research, through mixed-methods studies and public engagement.