Background: Several models for educational simulation of labor and delivery were published in the literature and incorporated into a commercially available training simulator (CAE Healthcare Lucina). However, the engine of this simulator does not include a model for the clinically relevant indicators: uterine contraction amplitude and frequency, and cervical dilation. In this paper, such a model is presented for the primigravida in normal labor.
Methods: The conceptual and mathematical models represent oxytocin release by the hypothalamus, oxytocin pharmacokinetics, and oxytocin effect on uterine contractions, cervical dilation, and (positive) feedback from cervical dilation to oxytocin release by the hypothalamus.
Results: Simulation results for cervical dilation are presented, together with target data for a normal primigravida. Corresponding oxytocin concentrations and amplitude and frequency of uterine contractions are also presented.
Conclusion: An original empirical model for educational simulation of oxytocin concentration, uterine contractions, and cervical dilation in first-stage labor is presented. Simulation results for cervical dilation match target data for a normal patient. The model forms a basis for taking into account more independent variables and patient profiles and can thereby considerably expand the range of training scenarios that can be simulated.