Obstetric sessions are always popular at ESRA meetings, and the Thessaloniki Congress was no exception, with a wide variety of sessions covering a broad range of topics in obstetric anaesthesia – useful for the obstetric enthusiast or the occasional obstetric anaesthetist. Highlights included a practical session discussing the role of ultrasound in obstetric anaesthesia.
The first descriptions of the use of ultrasound in clinical anaesthesia appeared almost forty years ago. Interest in its role in obstetric anaesthesia developed following a series of publications in the early 2000s. Despite the many publications and significant research interest in ultrasound supporting clinical care in obstetric anaesthesia, evidence would suggest that it is a long way from being used routinely. Three excellent talks discussed the role of ultrasound in neuraxial block, airway management and evaluating the aspiration risk in a pregnant woman. The story of ultrasound and obstetric anaesthesia continues to evolve!
There was a thought-provoking session about PDPH with Kassiani Theodoraki describing the latest evidence on this topic, followed by a lively discussion session. Debating the pros and cons of a particular clinical situation and solution is always guaranteed to be popular with delegates and an excellent way to dive deeply into a topic. Andrea Melber and Pierre Yves Dewandres delivered an entertaining debate about the role of remifentanil PCA in labour. Nicolas Brogly and Petramay Cortis provided an engaging discussion about whether the best solution for emergency CS in a woman with an epidural is to top it up or simply do a spinal. All talks were comprehensive, highlighting the nuanced aspects that can make these clinical situations challenging.
The final obstetric session of the meeting was bright and early on Saturday morning – the night after the outstanding Congress dinner. It was a fantastic testament to the delegates’ commitment to obstetric anaesthesia that this session – discussing the role of regional anaesthesia in women with various comorbidities – was so well attended. A wonderful final obstetric session for ESRA 2022!
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