Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology Catherine Spong, M.D., talks about UT Southwestern research aimed at reducing maternal anemia.
Read Related Article certainly one of the drivers for our research is trying to reduce maternal mortality. And one of the questions that we've asked ourselves is how can we reduce transfusions? And it's important to understand that a blood transfusion is not bad per se. But how can we not need to do a transfusion? And in order to start that process, we realized that we truly needed to understand what is the definition of anemia and how best do we treat anemia during pregnancy? And that's been fueling us to to really try to optimize that. We were uniquely positioned at UT Southwestern to address this question because in addition to a large patient population with over 14,000 deliveries on the campus, we have two different facilities. We cover Clements University Hospital, which is a private facility and Parkland health and hospital system, a public facility. And we were able to determine that. In fact, the definition of anemia, the fifth percentile is the same in both groups. This has been a huge team effort. We have medical students, fellows and faculty and statisticians all working as one team and UT Southwestern allowed us to make that happen. These findings are important now because being able to care for patients and determine if they're anemic and then best how to treat them with iron requires a definition that is appropriate for the population and by having a contemporary population based study that allows us to define anemia will federal allow us to care for our patients