The 40th annual meeting of the Society for Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology (SOAP), held at the Renaissance Chicago Hotel, April 30 to May 4, 2008, attracted record numbers of over 600 enthusiastic attendees. Pre-meeting activities on April 30 included the American Academy of Pediatrics Neonatal Resuscitation Certification Program and the popular Multidisciplinary Case Forum (small interactive discussions of clinically complex cases moderated by multidisciplinary panels with representatives from maternal fetal medicine, cardiology and critical care). Wednesday evening's wine and cheese reception in the beautiful Renaissance Chicago ballroom gave meeting attendees a chance to reacquaint themselves with each other before the meeting's official opening Thursday.
On Thursday morning, attendees were welcomed to the meeting by SOAP President Gurinder M. S. Vasdev, MD, FRCA (Mayo Clinic College of Medicine), Scientific Program Chair and President-elect Linda S. Polley, MD (University of MI), meeting host Barbara M. Scavone, MD (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine), and American Society of Anesthesiologists President Jeffrey L. Apfelbaum, MD (University of Chicago). Eight abstracts were presented at the first scientific session, the Gertie Marx Research Competition, open to residents, fellows and medical students performing original research (Table 1).
Dr. Vasdev then presented the Distinguished Service Award posthumously to Samuel C. Hughes, MD for his contributions to the field of obstetric anesthesiology. Dr. Hughes' friend and colleague, Marc A. Rosen, MD, provided insights into Dr. Hughes' life and career in a moving tribute. After five more oral presentations of original research, Robert D'Angelo, MD (Wake Forest University School of Medicine) debated the Pro position and Richard M. Smiley, MD, PhD (Columbia University), the Con, of the topic “All Parturients Receiving Neuraxial Morphine Should Be Monitored with Continuous Pulse Oximetry” in a spirited fashion.
The afternoon session opened with the “What's New in Obstetrics?” lecture delivered by William A. Grobman, MD, MBA (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine) who educated us regarding progesterone and the prevention of preterm delivery. The Zuspan Research Competition, named in honor of obstetrician and long-time SOAP advocate Fred Zuspan, MD, and open to original research performed in conjunction with obstetric colleagues, followed. Thursday evening SOAP hosted its second annual Residents' Forum, where no fewer than 68 residents presented original research and case reports.
Energetic early birds attended the SOAP Fun Run/Walk along Chicago's beautiful lakeshore on Friday morning (see Box). Another interesting oral presentation session opened Friday's meeting, and was followed by the “What's New in Obstetric Medicine?” lecture delivered by Ellen D. Mason, MD (John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital). Jill M. Mhyre, MD (University of MI) moderated the first Poster Review, which included 39 scientific posters. The day's educational activities were wrapped-up with a panel that discussed Advances in the Management of Obstetric Hemorrhage.
Saturday morning opened with the perennial Breakfast with the Experts session, during which several obstetric anesthesia experts moderated discussion of a challenging clinical case stem. A panel covering Legal Issues in Obstetric Anesthesia followed. Ruth Landau, MD (University Hospital of Geneva) then delivered the meeting's scientific highlight, the Gerard W. Ostheimer Lecture “What's New in Obstetric Anesthesia?” This ambitious review of the literature of calendar year 2007 highlighted important contributions to the field of obstetric anesthesia from anesthesiology, obstetric, pediatric and other specialty journals, and presented a syllabus with over 1400 references. Kenneth E. Nelson, MD (Wake Forest University School of Medicine) then moderated the review of an additional 39 scientific posters. Alan C. Santos, MD (Ochsner Clinic Foundation) delivered the annual Fred Hehre Lecture entitled “See One, Do One, Teach One: Is this what women Really Want?” It was a moving discussion of resident education: its past, and its potential in the future. The best paper presentations followed. Of the five excellent abstracts presented, “Polymorphisms in the Beta-2-Adrenergic Receptor are Associated with a More Rapid, Less Painful Labor” presented by Pamela Flood, MD (Columbia University) was chosen as winner. Finally, during the Research Hour, the audience learned how to overcome obstacles and more easily navigate institutional and governmental regulatory bodies concerned with the performance and publishing of clinical research in obstetric anesthesia. The meeting's social highlight, SOAP's 40th Anniversary Celebratory Dinner, took place Saturday evening at the University Club of Chicago, in a breath-taking setting overlooking Chicago's Millennium Park and Lake Michigan.
Saturday night's revelry did not prevent participants from attending the Awards Ceremony early on Sunday morning. The half-day session included an entertaining debate entitled “General Anesthesia is Unacceptable for Elective Cesarean Section” argued by Cynthia A. Wong, MD (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine) (Pro) and Felicity Reynolds, MD, FRCA (St. Thomas' Hospital) (Con). Finally, David Hepner, MD (Brigham and Women's Hospital) reviewed the year's Case Report posters. The successful meeting was adjourned with thanks expressed to the hard-working meeting planners. We look forward to seeing everyone again next year in Washington DC!