The annual meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists was held from Oct. 19 to 23 in Orlando, Florida, and attracted approximately 15,000 participants from around the world, including anesthesiologists and other health care professionals. The conference featured presentations focusing on the latest advances in the relief of pain and total care of surgical patients prior to, during, and after surgery.
In one study, Ghislaine Echevarria, M.D., of the New York University School of Medicine in New York City, and colleagues emphasized the importance of screening women for iron deficiency early in their pregnancy so that treatment may be started before the delivery date. The investigators found that this early screening would result in fewer postpartum blood transfusions in women undergoing cesarean sections and improve patient outcomes and hospital experiences. There would also be a cost-saving benefit for health care systems.
“We know that in the United States, from 1999 to 2006, iron deficiency was present in 25 percent of pregnant women. Following the United States Preventive Services Task Force, most institutions, including ours, only screened for iron deficiency in patients at a high risk for developing anemia (i.e., diabetics, vegetarians, inflammatory bowel disease, etc.) or patients identified as anemic at their first prenatal visit,” Echevarria said. “Based on published evidence and our own results, perhaps we should screen all pregnant women for iron deficiency at their first prenatal visit. In this way, we would be able to prescribe iron replacement, a safe treatment that is potentially beneficial to both the mother and the fetus.”
In another study, Mark Zakowski, M.D., of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, and colleagues found that 30 percent of women in California have a positive attitude toward cannabidiol (CBD) use in pregnancy, making them more likely to use it.
“However, only 9 percent of women thought alcohol was safe to use during pregnancy,” Zakowski said. “This positive attitude toward CBD use in pregnancy in California may stem from the legalization or decriminalization of marijuana in the United States.”
The investigators surveyed physician anesthesiologists, women of child bearing age, doulas, and midwives about CBD, alcohol, and marijuana use during pregnancy.