Adequate, well-serviced equipment is needed for safe care delivery. There should be an effective acquisition and replacement system, as well as a reporting system for faulty equipment followed by prompt service or repairs.
Staff should have appropriate training on the equipment they use. It may be necessary to keep the training up to date. A particular line of equipment which has been at, or close to, the centre of many adverse events on the labour ward is the CTG monitor. Regular training and updates are essential, and most units need competency to be demonstrated on a periodic (i.e. annual) basis.
A simple piece of equipment relevant to our case scenario is a swab count board. This is an inexpensive piece of equipment which provides a visual point to keep track of swab use and counting in the later stages of the procedure. Swab count bags are also very useful, batching the swabs in fives as they are used. An accurate count feeds correct information into the WHO checklist. An inaccurate count will provide a faulty checklist!
At least two persons should undertake all swab and instrument counts.