The Gerard W. Ostheimer lecture is given each year at the Society for Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology annual meeting and is intended to summarize important new scientific literature relevant to practicing obstetric anesthesiologists. This review highlights some of the most consequential papers covered in this lecture. It discusses landmark clinical trials that are likely to change the practice of obstetrics and obstetric anesthesia. It summarizes several articles that focus on how to optimize the provision of neuraxial anesthesia and postoperative pain control. Finally, it reviews studies aimed at identifying systems-based interventions that can improve obstetrical outcomes. A proposed “to-do” list focused on quality improvement initiatives that can be implemented on labor and delivery units is provided.
From the Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative, and Pain Medicine and Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.
Accepted for publication July 26, 2018.
Published ahead of print 26 July 2018.
The author declares no conflicts of interest.
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Address correspondence to Brian T. Bateman, MD, MSc, Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative, and Pain Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, 75 Francis St, Boston, MA 02120. Address e-mail to email@example.com.