The Division of Obstetric Anesthesiology has a vibrant group of academic anesthesiologists who are actively involved in research. There is a long-standing history of research starting in the early 1990s when we determined the minimum local anesthetic concentration of multiple analgesics and adjuncts used for labor analgesia. We found that opioids administered via epidural are more potent than the intravenous route. In our research, we also determined that the postoperative period carries the highest risk for serious respiratory depression and death following Cesarean deliveries. We are actively developing novel electronic maternal surveillance systems to detect early events in major obstetric emergencies. We found that in conjunction with nursing-driven early warning systems, there may be improvement in detection of severe postpartum hemorrhage.
We are currently looking to see if new diagnostic criteria for sepsis applies in pregnancy. Additional areas of interest are ways to decrease nerve injuries during spinal anesthetics and the influence of obstetric anesthesia in postpartum depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, psychiatric outcomes in obstetric patients, medical informatics applied to complex systems and early identification of postpartum hemorrhage and other major maternal morbidity, maternal fevers leading to neonatal complications, ROTEM use for coagulation status and hemorrhage, and advanced airway management of obstetric patients.