Obstetric Anesthesia Division
The obstetric anesthesia team is committed to excellent patient care, resident education, research, and collegiality. Women delivering at UNC can expect professional and efficient anesthesia care and labor-pain management around the clock. A team approach is critical in the constantly changing labor and delivery environment and we have an outstanding relationship with our OB/GYN colleagues, as well as the midwives, family medicine physicians, and labor nurses. Our patient population includes a wide array of patient-types. In addition to low-risk pregnancies, our patient mix includes numerous high-risk women, including those with cardiac disease, peripartum bleeding issues, and morbid obesity.
The educational needs of our anesthesiology residents and medical students are met by delivering anesthetic care to the over 4,000 women that deliver at North Carolina Women’s Hospital each year. About 60% of the patients utilize epidural analgesia for pain management. Approximately 90% of the cesarean deliveries at UNC are performed under spinal, epidural, or combined spinal-epidural anesthesia. UNC is a referral center for complicated obstetric patients for the state of North Carolina and some parts of Virginia. North Carolina Women’s Hospital opened in 2002 and the labor and delivery facilities are state of the art. There are 15 labor-delivery rooms and an operating suite of three fully equipped operating rooms. A level III NICU is just down the hall.
We currently have 1 obstetric anesthesia fellowship position per year. Fellows can expect to deliver anesthesia care to patients with a wide range of comorbidities. Didactics, teaching and supervision of residents are part of this experience. In addition, we have an extensive history of collegiality and collaboration with our OB/GYN colleagues. The OB anesthesia fellows will be an integral part of this multidisciplinary patient care team. As part of the fellowship curriculum, they will also participate in a QI or research initiative.
Dr. Kathleen Smith is the Division Chief of Obstetric Anesthesia at UNC. Dr. Ben Cobb is the Obstetric Anesthesia Fellowship Director. Currently, we have 8 obstetric anesthesia attending physicians who have a special interest in providing safe and compassionate care to the women of North Carolina.