Day 3: Oman Outreach – Training’s, Cultural Views on Scans, and the National Press Speaks about Us!

By Valeria Angioni

The third day of our training begun at sunrise in a sunny and warm Muscat, where we gathered together for another exciting day of work.

During the past four months, all the Omani trainees worked hard on their logbooks with one clear goal in mind: to improve their ultrasound skills and become better professionals.

Today, is the day when we see everything in action and when everyone gets to reap the rewards of their hard work- because today is when our groups re-unite, and we can all share the progresses that have been made by all members.

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Trainees practising skills on MediPhor simulator

During the six-steps approach scan we concentrated a bit longer on the placental evaluation. Additionally to the position of the placenta, we looked at the distance of the placental edge from the internal os, and also at the cord insertion site.

Together, we discussed the ultrasound signs of abnormally invasive placenta and tried to look for normal retroplacental hypoechoic zone in every patient.

To me, it’s moments like these that make this a truly special experience.

Being part of such a diverse group of medical professionals who gather together for the love of their profession and to share their knowledge is something I wish more people could live.

As the third week of our projects concentrates on maternal mortality and morbidity, we pointed out that placental assessment is a very important part of the examination.

The trainees were very happy because they had a good amount of scanning time and opportunity to ask all the questions they had in mind.

After the lunch break, we went back to work and restarted our sessions with theoretical lectures about placenta previa, vasa previa, abnormally invasive placenta, and ectopic pregnancy – including scar pregnancy. Once again, we went over the importance of transvaginal scan in the diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy. This is a particularly delicate issue in Oman as different cultural reasons and various misconceptions can lead some local patients to refuse the examination.

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Trainees in lecture hall 

During our talks we went over the role of professionals in changing the perception of the examination and discussed how counselling and explaining the safety of the procedure is crucial when people refuse it – as a correct diagnosis can be a true life-saver.

The trainees showed particular excitement to be presented with cases of abnormally invasive placenta and to discuss them.From the case discussion everyone learned that sometimes this condition could be life threatening already in the first and early second trimester, resulting in massive internal bleedingand haemorrhagic shock.

As the rate of caesarean sections increases everywhere in the world, abnormally invasive placenta is not considered anymore a rare event.Therefore, it is important to pay attention to the abnormally invasive signs in high-risk patients, starting from the first trimester.

Later in the evening, all the ISUOG volunteers gathered together for a faculty meeting.There, where we discussed the performance of all the trainees, and we gave our initial evaluation based on the performance witnessed during first two days of sessions.

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National Press recording Dr Divya’s simulation tutorial 

Also – today we became famous nationwide! The ISUOG programme was featured on an article in an Omani newspaper and it appeared on the national TV. Although I can’t understand every single word that is said about us, I believe this is a beautiful testament of how everyone here appreciates the hard work volunteers and trainees put on every single day.

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