The American Hospital of Paris’s third Harvey Cushing Symposium will take place on June 12, 2023. It will focus on obstetrics by addressing the following question: Have mothers been forgotten in obstetrics?
In France and the United States alike, the maternal mortality and morbidity rates have not declined in 20 or 30 years. Bringing together experts from France and the United States to exchange views on the risks associated with pregnancy and childbirth is therefore especially relevant today. By focusing too much on the fetus, have health care providers overlooked maternity care and the risks of pregnancy? France’s maternal mortality rate is among the highest in Europe, and its maternity unit safety levels are determined solely based on data relating to the fetus. This raises the question of whether maternal risks are sufficiently taken into account in France’s health care system.
Speakers will discuss the different elements that could explain this abnormally high mortality rate, including maternal age and obesity. They will also touch on the less explored topic of racism, which is a likely additional contributing factor. Other issues known to have a long-term impact on morbidity will be considered, including postpartum depression (suicide is now the leading cause of maternal death in the first year following the birth of a child) and post-traumatic stress.
The symposium will also include discussions about the fetus, with presentations on ultrasound, provocatively depicted as “the best way to terrify patients.” Progress in modern genetics will also be addressed.
Organized in partnership with the American universities Weill Cornell Medicine and Columbia University Irving Medical Center, the aim of the event is to compare North American and French views in an effort to improve maternal safety and reflect on how care is organized in France.
Professor Patrick Rozenberg