New Project Win
As medical artists we have illustrated the anatomy of the female reproductive system for a variety of clients so we had an existing portfolio of work. This is why we were first contacted and subsequently commissioned to work on a project studying very specific anatomy which is varying injury or tears that may occur to the female labia and associated musculature surrounding the vagina of the perineal region, during childbirth.
Project led by Midwife Elinor Jenkins
The brainchild behind the project is Elinor Jenkins, and Ellie has been a midwife for 17 years and is currently based at St Mary’s Hospital on the Isle of White. When Ellie began a new midwifery job the training included how to suture labial trauma. As Ellie was studying for a doctorate at the time she was keen to see what research evidence there was but was very surprised to find that there was minimal evidence for this type of suturing. Ellie decided to do some research with the support of the Research Design Service.
Why use medical illustrations?
It was decided that using drawings would be better for a research project as asking women for photographs immediately after giving birth intrudes on their connection with their new baby. The aim of the drawings will be to send to midwives and obstetricians to ask for their opinions as to whether the trauma requires suturing and at the same time inform clinical practice.
The project will be completed through the provision of descriptions of the labia trauma and as medical artists we will use our anatomical knowledge to correctly interpret the trauma or tear and create as a colour illustration. The result to be realistic illustrations that are almost photographic but the advantage being that they can look like real tear without having to use a camera.