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Obituary: Barbara L. Leighton, Chief Emeritus, Obstetric Anesthesiology

Dr. Barbara L. Leighton, Chief Emeritus of Obstetric Anesthesiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, passed away Friday, June 19, 2020, in Oakland, MD.

Barbara Leighton

Dr. Barbara Leighton

Dr. Leighton is a graduate of Princeton University and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She completed her residency and fellowship in Obstetric Anesthesia at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. She was on the medical faculty of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA, Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City, and of course here at Washington University in St. Louis, MO, where she served as Professor of Anesthesiology and Chief of Obstetric Anesthesiology from September 2002 until her retirement from academic practice in 2015. She most recently served as the Chief of Anesthesia at Garrett Regional Medical Center.

Dr. Leighton made significant contributions to the world of obstetric anesthesia, including 55 peer-reviewed scientific articles, 12 medical textbook chapters, and one patent. Dr. Leighton also served on the editorial board of many anesthesia journals. Her research interests included obstructive sleep apnea in pregnancy, opioid addiction, and amniotic fluid embolism in pregnancy. She was a visiting professor at many institutions within the United States and across the world, especially China and Africa.

During her time in St. Louis, Dr. Leighton was active in several local choral groups and was a friend to many. She could always be counted on to share herbs or fruit from her garden, something from her kitchen, or certainly a good story. During the winter, while many lamented another snowfall, you could find her cross-country skiing in Forest Park. We will miss her kindness and inimitable sense of humor.

Visitation at the C & S Fredlock Funeral Home, P.A., 21 North Second St, Oakland, MD will occur on Friday, June 26 and Saturday, June 27 from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Services will be held on Sunday, June 28 at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church located at St. Peter at the Lake Center, 1140 Mosser Road McHenry, MD with viewing at 2 p.m. and funeral at 3 p.m.

In lieu of flowers and cards, Barbara asked that donations be made to Garrett Regional Medical Center Foundation, Doctors Without Borders, or to the Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, McHenry, MD, for the music fund.

Read Barbara’s full obituary here.