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DR. QUEENAN is Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, D.C.
I truly believe that "Protocols for High-Risk Pregnancies" has contributed to improving perinatal care.
We all agreed that there was a lack of quality information on perinatal medicine being provided to clinicians. It seemed to us that most textbooks at that time provided only general, and often outdated, medical information while failing to give clear recommendations for patient care. Postgraduate courses usually did a better job of giving specific directions for workups and treatments, but the information was delivered to each student by only a limited number of educators and was filtered through those educators' personal biases.
What if we could identify the critical clinical problems in perinatal medicine, and then select the best authorities in the United States on each of those issues to present practice protocols? We suddenly realized that ob/gyns and their patients might benefit if we brought together in a single book such practical, concise, and authoritative recommendations for the workup and management of problems in high-risk pregnancy.
Our first edition contained 63 protocols, covering a wide range of topics, including subjects like estriols and fetoscopy, which are no longer in use. The emergence of new scientific advances prompted the publication of the second and third editions. The new fourth edition, 736 pages long, contains 90 protocols, including such topics as Doppler ultrasound, nuchal translucency, amnioinfusion, HIV in pregnancy, Parvovirus B19, and intrauterine growth restriction. The 67-page compendium at the end of the book listing medications used in perinatal care and their pharmaceutical properties is particularly useful.
I truly believe that Protocols for High-Risk Pregnancies has contributed to improving perinatal care, and I know that the editors of Contemporary OB/GYN agree. Through a collaboration between Advanstar Communications and our publisher, Blackwell Publishing, "Occupational hazards," the first of six protocols you'll see exclusively in the print version of Contemporary OB/GYN magazine, appears in the March issue on page 58. My co-editors, John Hobbins and Catherine Spong, and I hope that you'll find the information helpful in ensuring the best possible pregnancy outcome for your patients. That was and is our goal as physicians, and we know it's your mission as well.