The Division of Obstetric Anesthesiology comprises of physicians and nurse anesthetists dedicated to providing the highest standard of clinical care, a world-class OB anesthesia fellowship, and impactful translational research.

Clinical rotations are conducted at Barnes-Jewish Hospital which serves as the tertiary referral center for a large geographical area. Many of our yearly 3,600 deliveries involve a high-risk patient population with the most complex maternal and fetal comorbidities. 

The division provides anesthetic services for a full complement of obstetric procedures and enjoys a collaborative academic and clinical environment with perinatology, obstetrics, neonatology, and nursing. Our state-of-the-art home in the new Parkview Tower on the Washington University medical campus holds a consolidated and modern Women & Infants program with a direct connection to the neonatal ICU at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

Obstetric Anesthesia Fellowship Program

The Obstetric Anesthesia Fellowship Program at WashU is designed to provide comprehensive training in obstetric anesthesia, preparing fellows to become leaders in the field. Under the guidance of experienced faculty members, fellows will gain hands-on experience in the management of a wide range of obstetric anesthesia cases, including high-risk obstetrics and complex medical conditions. We strive to create a supportive and collaborative learning environment that fosters personal and professional growth. We invite you to explore our program and learn more about the exciting opportunities available to fellows at WashU.

Fetal Surgery

Washington University is home to a robust fetal surgery program. Cases here include ultrasound-guided procedures such as percutaneous umbilical blood sampling (PUBS), fetoscopic interventions such as selective photocoagulation for twin-twin transfusion syndrome, and extremely complex surgeries such as in-utero myelomeningocele repairs (MMC) and ex-utero intrapartum treatment (EXIT) procedures. These cases challenge the anesthesiologist to balance the co-existing needs of the mother and fetus. The larger procedures fully embrace multidisciplinary care, with the actions of the anesthesiology teams, multiple surgical services, ultrasonographers, and nurses occurring in harmony. We give preferential access to OB anesthesia fellows for these high-complexity procedures. Our case volume and the quality of our training is such that previous fellowship graduates have gone on to take leadership roles at prominent academic institutions.

QA/QI and Collaborative Initiatives

Our division has established itself within the medical school and hospital system as a leader in patient safety and clinical excellence. Specific to Women & Infants, our anesthesiologists serve on the multidisciplinary case review committee and have important roles in ongoing quality improvement projects. As a SOAP Center of Excellence, we are constantly seeking ways to improve our well-rounded practice.

Research Program

The obstetric anesthesiology research group is comprised of a collaborative team of basic, clinical, and educational scientists with expertise in advanced statistical techniques. The Obstetric Anesthesia division takes advantage of its excellent relationships with the divisions of Maternal-Fetal Medicine and Newborn Medicine to enhance the quality of quality and meaningfulness of its research output. Worldwide, very few academic labor and delivery units have such well-established anesthesiology and obstetric basic sciences labs such as those of our chief, Dr. Arvind Palanisamy. Here our basic scientific discoveries can be seamlessly translated from bench to the bedside of our peripartum women and their babies. Furthermore, our team can employ data from our unit and combine it with that from other national and international centers, using trial sequential and network meta-, analytical techniques.

Our multinational team prides itself on producing world-class clinicians, researchers and educators from among the ranks of its residents, fellows and faculty. Access to hands-on experience of the design, conduct, and reporting of clinical trials and meta-analyses has resulted in presentations at Society of Obstetric Anesthesiology and Perinatology (SOAP) scientific meetings as well as first name authorship in high-impact obstetric and anesthesiology journals such as American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, British Journal of Anaesthesia, and Anaesthesia.

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