The Society for Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology (SOAP) was founded in 1969 to 'improve the pregnancy-related outcomes of women and neonates through the support of obstetric anesthesiology research, the provision of education to its members, other providers, and pregnant women, and the promotion of excellence in clinical anesthetic care.' Since its inception 41 years ago, there have been significant changes in the way labor analgesia is administered in the United States. The increased utilization of regional anesthesia both in labor suites and in the operating room has resulted in a marked reduction in the utilization of general anesthesia for cesarean delivery. Since general anesthesia associates with as much as a 17 fold greater risk of mortality than regional anesthesia, SOAP's influence has made a significant and positive impact on the well being of parturients. The most recent figures suggest that more than 70% of laboring women in the United States receive regional analgesia during labor and 94% receive regional anesthesia for cesarean delivery.
A strategic initiative of SOAP is to establish relationships with international anesthesia societies to improve pregnancy-related outcomes world-wide. The SOAP and The Obstetric Anaenesthetists' Association (OAA) International Outreach Committees have worked for many years with Kybele, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving childbirth conditions worldwide through medical education partnerships. Multidisciplinary programs are organized in countries that have anesthetic resources but either have not had exposure to contemporary obstetric anesthesia practices or cultural barriers exist that make it difficult to do so. To date programs have been conducted in countries such as Turkey, Romania, Croatia, Georgia, Egypt, and Ghana. Evidence suggests that not only is there a positive impact by the programs but that impact is sustained.
A separate educational initiative with the Japanese Society of Anesthesiologists was begun in 2005 with the planning of a joint symposium. The first JSA-SOAP Joint Symposium was held during the 2007 SOAP Annual Meeting in Banff, British Columbia. The symposium was a huge success and laid the foundation for collaboration between the two organizations. Work was begun almost immediately to plan the 2nd SOAP-JSA Joint Symposium which will be held during the JSA Annual Meeting and is scheduled for Saturday, May 21, 2011. The preliminary program will feature prominent SOAP and JSA speakers and includes two workshops, a pro-con debate, and dynamic lectures on topics relevant to the clinical anesthesiologist.
As co-hosts, Dr. Takeda and I are excited about the program and would like to extend to you an invitation to join us during the symposium. Mark your calendars now as it promises to be an excellent educational opportunity in obstetric anesthesia. We look forward to seeing you in Kobe in 2011.
Robert D'Angelo, MD
President Elect, SOAP
Welcome to Kobe. Kobe is one of the biggest port in JAPAN. You can enjoy the beautiful scenery and the gourmet Japanese foods in Kobe. The second SOAP/JSA joint meeting will be held on May 21th, 2011 at Kobe city in Hyogo prefecture in conjunction with the annual meeting of Japanese Society of Anesthesiologists. The first SOAP/JSA joint meeting, which was held through the courtesy of Dr. Gurinder Vasdev(Mayo clinic) on 2007 at Banff, was a great success. It was a meeting of great significance for obstetric anesthesia in JAPAN, because it impressed the importance of obstetric anesthesia to Japanese young anesthesiologists and it introduced a new breeze to Japanese obstetric anesthesia. The second SOAP/JSA joint meeting would be held with cooperation of Dr. Robert D'Angelo; SOAP President and Mayo clinic group. I hope it will become a progress of obstetric anesthesia in both societies and we would like to keep in touch with each other.