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Case study: Helen: The ASSIST trial

The ASSIST trial is a study conducted at North Bristol NHS Trust in which 40 women who needed help at the end of their labour had their babies delivered with a new device called the BD Odon device.

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Helen: The ASSIST trial

Helen, from Westbury-on-Trym, is one of the new mothers who took part in the ASSIST study, she tells us about her experience.

I decided to take part in the ASSIST trial as I felt it was something beneficial to both me and my baby. I really didn’t want a forceps delivery; if it had been a case of forceps or a caesarean I would have gone for the caesarean.

The ASSIST trial was a chance to be involved in something that has wider benefits for lots more mums and babies. It’s nice to be involved in research that can go on to help others; these tiny little babies need the best start in life.

I wanted to do everything I could to make sure that our delivery was safe. I felt confident that they wouldn’t be proposing the study at Southmead if they didn’t believe that it would be beneficial, or safe. I didn’t have any concerns really, because I knew that I would have the consultants and lead obstetricians involved in the study. A lot of prospective mums are apprehensive about the birth and if you take part in one of these studies you tend to have a bit more certainty about who will be there during your delivery.

The trial was far less intimidating than I thought it would be, I found it really easy. I had watched a video about the study whilst on the antenatal ward and we had a few follow up phone calls afterwards, but if it was too awkward to manage the phone with a newborn then they would send the questionnaire in the post. If you’ve got any questions you can always ask, and of course you can always withdraw your consent if you need to. There isn’t really a reason to not take part, and by doing so you’re part of something much, much bigger. It’s an honour to have been a part of something which will certainly save lives in the future.