WFSA Obstetric Committee Report 2010


WFSA Obstetric Committee Report 2010

The past year for the Obstetric Committee has been one of forging links with sister organizations and attempting to build the bridges by which we may collaborate on future multidisciplinary projects.


in 2009, following an earlier introductory meeting in London, the
Chairman, Dr
Paul Howell, travelled to Cape Town as guests of FIGO (the International
Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics) to participate in their World
Congress. There he joined round-table panel discussions devoted to the
initiative on Maternal and Newborn Health supported by the Bill and
Gates Foundation. He made clear to parties who habitually forget to
anaesthetic involvement in the planning of maternity projects (e.g.
midwives, health planners) how pivotal we are in improving obstetric
outcome in resource poor areas.      

WFSA has now become a Partner in the World Health Organisation Partnership for
Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH), a multidisciplinary alliance
interested parties who are working to improve the health of mothers and
children worldwide. This will hopefully improve our international
profile and
our ability to liaise with like-minded organizations on joint future
projects –
all too pressing since it’s now clear that Millennium Development Goals 4
and 5
are far from being met.

with the Obstetric Anaesthetists’ Association (OAA) and Association of
Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland (AAGBI) continue to grow, and
WFSA has joined forces with them on several interesting ventures. Thanks
to a
generous grant from Baxter, and collaboration with the OAA and Elsevier,
publishers of the International Journal of Obstetric Anesthesia (IJOA), a
CD set of useful obstetric anaesthetic resource material is being
produced for
distribution in resource-poor countries. This set, which comprises a
variety of
different tools including a webcast of the 2008 OAA Three Day Course
slides and abstract book, video of how spinals work, and back copies of
Update in Anaesthesia and Tutorial of the Week, is almost ready for
through usual WFSA routes. 

addition, in collaboration with the Publications Committee, the OAA and
AAGBI, an exciting new handbook of obstetric anaesthesia specifically
at anaesthetic providers in resource-poor area, has just been completed,
and is
ready for shipping. Already in hardcopy, it is hoped to make it
available in
electronic format at some point in the future.

and when these two new educational tools are received, please do feed
back to
us with your comments, including what is useful, what is not, and what
would you like included (for the next editions)!

the world, individual members of the Obstetric Anaesthesia Committee
to make significant contributions to the practice of obstetric
anaesthesia and
analgesia in their own regions, and beyond. Everyone plays their part,
but special
mention should perhaps be made of Dr Medge Owen who heads Kybele, an
organisation that takes multidisciplinary teams into transitional level
countries and shows how obstetric (anaesthetic) care can be improved
through a
combination of formal lectures and hands-on practical tuition. Recent
publications 1, 2  show
that this approach can make a lasting impact, with sustained changes in
practice – an excellent example to us all!

in the not too far distant future, our next World Congress in Argentina
in 2012
approaches. There will, of course, be an obstetric anaesthetic component
to the
meeting – always popular sessions – so put the dates in your diary, and
see you


[1] Kopic
Sedensky M, Owen M. The impact of a teaching program on obstetric
practices in Croatia. Int J Obstet Anesth
2009; 18: 4-9.

[2] Howell
P R.  Supporting the evolution of
obstetric anaesthesia through outreach programs  (Editorial) 
Journal of Obstetric Anesthesia, 2009; 18: 1-3.


Paul Howell

Chairman, Obstetric
Anaesthesia Committee,


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