This year’s debaters for The Edith Louise Potter Memorial Lecture decided to try a novel approach to address an interesting question: If recommendations say no elective inductions before 39 weeks, why not induce everybody at 39 weeks?
The debaters agreed not to reveal where they stood on the question before the lecture, which takes place at 10:55 am today in Ballroom ABC.
“We all read the same papers and come away with different conclusions,” said Errol Norwitz, MD, PhD, chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and professor at Tufts University School of Medicine, who has researched and written extensively about post-term pregnancy. “So I always find that interesting. But in a sense, we’re all trying to come to the singular truth about what the data is trying to tell us.”
Efforts by ACOG and others to stop elective deliveries prior to 39 weeks in well-dated pregnancies have led to better birth outcomes. Today’s debate features a question that’s a logical extension of those efforts.
Charles Lockwood, MD, senior vice president, USF Health, dean of the Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Morsani College of Medicine, and professor of health policy and management at the College of Public Health, University of South Florida, said that this topic gets to the fundamental art of obstetrics: when to recommend delivery.
“It seemed to lend itself to this kind of format because unlike everything else in medicine, we actually have competing interests,” Dr. Lockwood said. “What might be better for the fetus might be worse for the neonate. What might be better for both the fetus and the neonate may be worse for the mother.”