Blood
Vol. 24 No 1 | Autumn 2022
College
From the President
Dr Benjamin Bopp
MBBS FRANZCOG; RANZCOG President

This issue of O&G Magazine takes the theme of Blood and covers, amongst others, such diverse topics as postpartum haemorrhage and its management, thromboembolism, thalassaemia, and cord blood collection. In a display of excellent timing, there will also be an article detailing periods after COVID-19 vaccination!

We also welcome the first article submitted by the RANZCOG Consumer Network Working Group. I am sure clinicians will appreciate the perspective of postpartum haemorrhage as elaborated by consumers from their real-life experience.

And so, it seems 2022 has started pretty much the same way as 2021 – under the shadow of a worldwide pandemic, now with another new, faster spreading variant that requires booster vaccinations to tackle effectively. Locally, Australia has spent a festive season under the pressure of Omicron. Over a few weeks, single-digit, daily case and fatality numbers escalated to tens of thousands, leaving medical and other resources under severe strain.

At the two-year mark, there has been over 350 million confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide and 5.5 million deaths. Our colleagues in New Zealand, much like Queensland and Western Australia in late 2021, have prepared for the coming wave. One of our new reality’s tools, the Zoom meeting, has come to the fore with a binational link up of New Zealand and Australian based members held to assist with pandemic planning. Again, the College acknowledges the great work and leadership undertaken by members, particularly in New South Wales and Victoria. These teams not only dealt with the extensive challenges of the pandemic locally but also shared their experiences, expertise, advice and management knowledge with colleagues in more sheltered jurisdictions. When we look back at this challenge, we realise necessity truly is the mother of invention and how willingly the RANZCOG family supports its members.

Iron deficiency and infusion is another interesting topic covered in this issue. It’s noteworthy how our routine approach to certain issues changes over time. Ten years ago, standard practice was only oral iron supplementation for those felt to have a low haemoglobin in pregnancy, but we did not religiously pursue iron status. For some, much like vitamin D before it, iron deficiency in pregnancy may come across as a bit ‘flavour of the month’. Has our attention been focused on a seemingly peripheral matter, or does this have real merit? Ironically, the pregnant population appear extremely keen, accepting, and responsive to advice regarding iron infusion in pregnancy whilst at the same time show an ongoing resistance or hesitancy to be vaccinated against COVID-19! This conclusion seems not to reflect an informed assessment of the relative risks of COVID-19 infection versus iron deficiency in pregnancy or the complication profiles of vaccination versus
iron infusion.

February will have seen orientation of our new Australian FRANZCOG trainees, their colleagues in New Zealand having commenced late last year. Welcome all! We will also have officially opened our new building, Djeembana (College Place), at 1 Bowen Crescent Melbourne. Djeembana is a modern, open plan, fit-for-purpose building representing a strong investment in our future.

Thanks to the members and staff who have worked tirelessly under difficult circumstances over the last two years to realise this significant new chapter in the history of RANZCOG. A pandemic, by definition, does not last forever and hopefully this year will see us all have the opportunity to gather at our new College home.

As always, thank you to the team at O&G Magazine and please, enjoy this issue and keep safe and well.

 


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