Dr Douglas Mein
Chair of the National Obstetric Anaesthesia Network of New Zealand, Wellington
Douglas Mein, a Consultant Anaesthetist at Capital and Coast DHB in Wellington, is the Chair of the National Obstetrics Anaesthesia Network. This network is jointly supported by the NZSA and the New Zealand National Committee of ANZCA. Both organisations take turns to host the annual three to four face-to-face network meetings. The network also has a joint meeting with Midwives and the Obstetricians once a year which is held at the airport which the Society and College helps sponsor. The NZSA provides secretariat services for the network and updates to the membership.
National Obstetric Anaesthesia Network New Zealand
Epidural Pain Relief in Labour – NZSA and WDHB is now available on Vimeo. The video was recorded in 2006 as an educational tool for patients and maternity caregivers.
OAA have provided permission for us to use two of their fact sheets OAA NZSA Pain Relief in Labour – How do the options compare? and OAA Epidural Information. These are also available to women under the patient section of this website here.
Your Epidural is a brochure available for patients, please feel free to download a copy.
National Obstetric Anaesthesia Clinical Leads Meeting
The second meeting of the National Obstetric Anaesthesia (NOA) Clinical Leads was held on 30 May at the ANZCA offices, chaired by Douglas Mein from Wellington Hospital. This is an ongoing initiative supported by both NZSA and NZNC ANZCA. The meeting was well attended, with representatives from 16 hospitals from around the country. There was wide-ranging and stimulating discussion on a variety of topics. The national Maternity Clinical Information System (previously known as BadgerNet) continues to cause safety concerns. While the idea of a national obstetric database is welcomed, the system is slow and cumbersome to use.
Dr Matthew Drake presented a talk on opioids in labour. There was discussion about using morphine and fentanyl in labour. Midwives have been legally entitled to prescribe fentanyl and morphine for almost two years, although the uptake of this seems to vary in different regions. Some DHBs have provided frameworks, but it was agreed that a standard nationwide approach would be helpful. The group will work on options which may be easily adapted to local requirements if needed.
Dr Heidi Omundsen led a discussion about antenatal pain education. The concern was raised that we lack a consistent approach to antenatal pain education. Some of the information easily available to women is skewed, or is directed at women in other countries. It was agreed that eye catching, NZ-based information (including leaflets, online information and perhaps a video) would be helpful.
Dr Anne Hart led a discussion, and provided tips on managing the increasing problem of obesity in the obstetric population. It was felt this would be a good topic for discussion at the upcoming combined meeting with the Obstetric and Midwifery leads. Dr Adam Hollingworth gave a very informative talk on the importance of and development of checklists to aid managing emergencies. This led to a discussion comparing checklists in different departments. Dr Catherine Eckersley brought an epidural and spinal simulator manikin for attendees to observe. Manikin training was considered a useful first step in teaching safe neuraxial techniques.
The next meeting will be held in August, at which a plenary session with midwives and obstetricians is planned.
Obstetric Anaesthesia Network formed
The NZSA has facilitated a new Obstetric Anaesthesia Network Initiative which is being supported by both NZSA and the NZ National Committee of ANZCA. The network brings together obstetric anaesthetists from DHBs throughout the country to discuss issues and share information.
A small group held a preliminary meeting in November 2015 to discuss how an obstetric anaesthesia network could be set up and what its functions might be.
The network will involve obstetric anaesthetists from all DHBs, who have been supportive of the initiative. Earlier this year the group from the inaugural meeting invited obstetric anaesthesia representatives from each DHB who attended a second meeting in March. The group plans to hold face-to-face meetings and teleconferences during the year.
The Network aims to provide national representation of obstetric anaesthetists, consolidate and amalgamate good practice, share guidelines and good practice, provide support for clinical practice in difficult cases, and encourage and support members to foster training and education.
The group is chaired by Douglas Mein of Capital and Coast District Health Board. “This will be a good forum for all anaesthetists involved in the obstetric area to discuss issues and learnings that are relevant to all departments in New Zealand,” he says. “We are pleased with the support we have had so far from DHBs to get this network going. This can only strengthen the obstetric anaesthesia community and the services we provide to women.”
“We hope this group will also be able to improve professional connections with our colleagues in obstetrics and midwifery.”