Share this article on:

Society for Obstetric Anesthesiology and Perinatology, 2012 Annual Meeting Summary

Farber, Michaela K. MD, MS

doi: 10.1213/ANE.0b013e318265bb20
Book, Multimedia, and Meeting Reviews: Media Reviews

Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative, and Pain Medicine Brigham and Women's Hospital Harvard Medical School Boston, Massachusetts

The 44th Annual Meeting of the Society for Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology (SOAP), themed “Obstetric Anesthesia in an Evidenced-Based Environment,” was held from May 2 to May 5, 2012 at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Resort and Spa in Monterey, California. Attendance was exemplary with 624 participants from 17 countries. Three well-attended premeeting activities held on May 2 included the “Use of Ultrasound in Obstetric Anesthesia” workshop directed by Jose Carvalho (Mt. Sinai Hospital, Toronto) and a “High Risk Obstetric Crisis Simulation” workshop coordinated by Gillian Hilton (Stanford University). A new session for this meeting called “Clinical Concepts” was a tremendous success; the inaugural topic was “Coagulopathy: Nuts and Bolts to Cutting Edge” moderated by Phillip Hess (Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, Boston). The premeeting day culminated in a lovely evening wine tasting and appetizer reception as a warm welcome for all attendees.

The meeting officially commenced on Thursday morning with opening statements by SOAP President Maya Suresh (Baylor College, Houston), President-Elect McCallum (Cally) Hoyt (Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston) and Meeting Host, Dennis Shay (San Diego). Joy Hawkins (University of Colorado) provided an update on Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research grants. The meeting started on a high note with the Gertie Marx Research Competition moderated by Alan Santos (St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital, New York); the top 6 peer-reviewed obstetric anesthesia research abstracts were presented by residents and fellows. The winner of the competition was Naida Cole (Mount Sinai Hospital Toronto) who presented work on the in vitro effects of carbetocin versus oxytocin on human myometrial contractions after oxytocin pretreatment. These and other award winners are highlighted in Table 1.

Table 1

Table 1

David Birnbach (University of Miami) presented Gerry Bassell (University of Kansas) with the SOAP Distinguished Service Award for his contributions to the field of obstetric anesthesiology. Dr. Birnbach's well-received presentation was as humorous as it was reverent. Pertinent to the evidence-based theme of this year's meeting was Gordon Guyatt's (McMaster University, Ontario) Gertie Marx/Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research Education lecture entitled “Why Bother with Evidence-Based Obstetrical Anesthesia?” Dr. Guyatt, an internist, first coined the term “evidence-based medicine” in 1990. The morning session ended with the first poster session skillfully moderated by Brenda Bucklin (University of Colorado) and Katherine Arendt (Mayo Clinic).

Vilma Ortiz (Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston) started the afternoon session by moderating 6 compelling oral presentations. The inaugural Special Poster Session Walk-Around with Richard Smiley (Columbia University) was a great success; 6 posters were discussed with a crowd so large that Dr. Smiley needed a microphone. This event was followed by the Obstetric Anesthesiology Research Session, “What's the Future?” moderated by Cynthia Wong (Northwestern University). Four thought-provoking presentations were given by Pamela Flood (University of California, San Francisco), Ruth Landau (University of Washington), Roshan Fernando (University College, London), and Stephen Pratt (Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, Boston). Topics included labor pain mechanisms, chronic pain after childbirth, spinal anesthesia-induced hypotension, and simulation.

Opportunities for career development and networking for up-and-coming obstetric anesthesiologists abounded at the meeting, including a Fellows Reception, as well as a Resident Dinner and Breakout Session at the end of the first day. The Resident Breakout Session, orchestrated by Paloma Toledo (Northwestern University) began with program speaker Arvind Palanisamy (Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston) addressing the topic of “Planning a Research Career.” Dinner was provided and breakout sessions enabled medical students and resident investigators to present and discuss their research in small group settings.

On Friday morning, a breakfast session directed by Pam Angle (Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto) demonstrated the use of evidence-based medicine in clinical obstetric scenarios. The full session began with a robust debate between 2 well-matched speakers: Scott Segal (Tufts University) took the pro side and Robin Russell (John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, UK) the con on the topic, “Patient Outcomes Are Better with Protocol-Driven Care.” Dr. Raymond Powrie (Brown University) discussed useful pearls and pitfalls learned from his experience with near-miss maternal morbidity and mortality in the “What's New in Obstetric Medicine?” lecture. Kenneth Nelson (Wake Forest University) moderated 6 “Best Paper” presentations. Gordon Lyons, newly retired from St. James' University Hospital (Leeds, UK), delivered the Fred Hehre Lecture. His topic “A Critical Examination of Regional Technique” emphasized aseptic technique and the risk of spinal cord trauma from inadvertent high needle placement. After the educational sessions for the day, the 44th Annual SOAP Banquet was held in the superb setting of the Monterey Bay Aquarium where guests were able to dine and connect with colleagues while discovering the marine life of Monterey's world-famous coastline. The event was catered by Top Chef Master, Cynthia Pawlsyn.

Early risers on Saturday took part in an invigorating Hatha Yoga session. The educational sessions began with a multidisciplinary clinical forum, “Postpartum Hemorrhage Management—Perspectives from Three Disciplines” including Lawrence (Tim) Goodnough (Stanford University), Maurice Druzin (Stanford University), and Andrea Fuller (University of Colorado) with Brendan Carvalho (Stanford University) as moderator. Ashley Tonidandel (Wake Forest University) and Pamela Flood (University of California San Francisco) provided insightful moderation of the second poster session. Alexander Butwick (Stanford University) delivered this year's Gerard W. Ostheimer Lecture, in which he skillfully conveyed highlights from his comprehensive syllabus of the top 150 articles published in 2011 relevant to obstetric anesthesiologists. This lecture was followed by another “What's New in Obstetrics?” lecture, “Evolving Consensus on Standardization of Fetal Heart Rate Pattern Management” given by Julian (Bill) Parer (University of California San Francisco).

The final afternoon session began with a second set of oral presentations moderated by Dennis Shay from San Diego. The educational session ended with “Best Case Reports: What Can We Learn From This?” moderated by Bhavani Kodali and Michaela Farber (Brigham and Women's Hospital). Cally Hoyt concluded the meeting with farewell remarks and the meeting ended with a wonderful outdoor courtyard reception. Next year's 45th annual SOAP meeting from April 24 to 28, 2013 at the Caribe Hilton San Juan, Puerto Rico, is bound to be amazing! Please visit for more details.

© 2012 International Anesthesia Research Society