Latest News at the SOGC

SOGC statement regarding pregnant woman with COVID-19 in ICUs in Ontario

Date: April 15, 2021

The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) released the following statement regarding the alarming situation with pregnant woman with COVID-19 in ICUs in Ontario:

The SOGC calls on the Ontario government and all other provinces to immediately prioritize COVID-19 vaccination for pregnant women.

All pregnant women in Canada should be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

According to SOGC members, there is currently a daily wave of pregnant women coming into Ontario ICUs, many requiring ventilators. These women are getting extremely sick, very quickly.

Pregnant women who have COVID-19 appear more likely to develop respiratory complications requiring intensive care than women who aren't pregnant. Providing ventilator support in pregnancy is more challenging, and the risks are greater to both mother and child. Pregnant women with COVID-19 are more likely to have a premature birth and caesarean delivery, and their babies are more likely to be admitted to a neonatal unit.

Tips for pregnant women:

• To reduce your risk of infection, Limit contact with others as much as possible

• Avoid contact with anyone who has symptoms

• Wear a cloth face mask in public

• Keep about 2 meters of distance between yourself and others beyond your household

• Focus on taking care of yourself and your baby and don’t hesitate to contact your health care providers if you have any concerns about your physical and mental health

 

For the latest information from the SOGC on COVID-19 and pregnancy, please visit pregnancyinfo.ca/COVID or sogc.org/COVID

For media interview, please contact media@sogc.com

Read the statement HERE


 

April 15, 2021
SOGC statement regarding pregnant woman with COVID-19 in ICUs in Ontario
 

Notice regarding the Depo-Provera Shortage

Date: April 9, 2021

Pfizer reported an anticipated shortage of Depo-Provera (Medroxyprogesterone Acetate) for July 2021. The shortage is due to a disruption of manufacture. The plant is also the major site for the manufacturer of the COVID-19 vaccine. The need for the vaccine has resulted in reprioritizing the manufacture of other products, including Depo-Provera.

To manage the shortage, the company alerted the SOGC and Health Canada, with sufficient lead time for alternate plans to be made. The Drug Shortages Unit (DSU) at Health Canada has escalated this to a Tier 3 category shortage, which means HC was able to take extraordinary steps to secure an alternate supply, until domestic manufacture is restored. As a result, on March 31, 2021, Pfizer’s US-labelled Depo-Provera (Medroxyprogesterone Acetate) was added to the List of drugs for exceptional importation and sale (i.e. List of designated drugs). DSU will be following up with Pfizer for updates and timelines regarding the importation of the product.

The SOGC would like to thank the members of our Sexual Health and Reproductive Equity (SHARE) Committee for their help in providing briefing notes on Depo-Provera; these were very useful to the DSU. Health Canada is working to have the alternate supply in place before we deplete existing stock of Depo- Provera. However, until we have the alternate supply secured, please consider if there is a suitable alternative for Depo-Provera before prescribing, so that we can ensure that those with the greatest need continue to have unbroken access. Pfizer plans to be able to resume normal operations by June 2022.

For more information, please consult the Drug Shortage report.

Read the statement HERE


 

April 9, 2021
Notice regarding the Depo-Provera Shortage
 

SOGC Statement on the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD COVID-19 vaccines and rare adverse outcomes of thrombosis associated with low platelets

On behalf of the Infectious Diseases Committee of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada

Date: April 1st, 2021

Reports have emerged from Europe documenting extremely rare events of arterial and venous thrombosis associated with low platelets following the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD adenovirus vector COVID-19 vaccines. There have been no cases reported in Canada.

The observed condition is being called by some hematologists “vaccine-induced prothrombotic immune thrombocytopenia” (VIPIT). This syndrome has not yet been proven to be vaccine induced but has been observed in persons receiving the vaccine within 4-20 days. The actual rate of occurrence is unclear as all data from global observations are not yet available. It appears to be extremely rare, occurring in anywhere from 1 in every 125,000 to 1 in 1 million people following AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD COVID-19 vaccines.1, 2, 3 Most cases have occurred in women <55 years of age, however, this may reflect a bias to women receiving the vaccine more than men in this age group because of the decision to prioritize front-line health care workers. There is no known association between this syndrome and pregnancy. With an abundance of caution, until further data is available, Canada has paused use of the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD COVID-19 vaccines for individuals <55 years of age. Until the nature of these events is further examined, the SOGC does not recommend the use of AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD COVID-19 vaccines for individuals <55 years of age keeping in line with current National Advisory Committee of Immunization (NACI) and Health Canada recommendations.3, 4

It is important to note that the thrombotic events observed in association with the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD COVID-19 vaccines are an extremely rare and, given the number of doses given to pregnant women at this point, it is statistically unlikely that a prenatal provider in Canada will have to identify or manage a case of vaccine-induced prothrombotic immune thrombocytopenia (VIPIT). If you suspect VIPIT, a diagnosis and management algorithm has been proposed by the group at Science Table (COVID-19 Advisory for Ontario) and is available on their website.5 Given the unique physiologic and hematologic characteristics of pregnancy, we advise urgent consultation with hematology prior to administration of anticoagulants if VIPIT is being considered.

Importantly, these rare adverse events have not been described for mRNA vaccines and appear not related to the spike protein. Pregnant women can continue to be vaccinated using mRNA vaccines as they become eligible according to the jurisdictional eligibility schemes.

References

1. Covid-19 vaccine astrazeneca: Benefits still outweigh the risks despite possible link to rare blood clots with low blood platelets. European Medicines Agency. 2021. Available at https://www.ema.europa.eu/en/news/covid-19-vaccine-astrazeneca-benefits-still-outweigh-risks-despite-possible-link-rare-blood-clots.

2. Covid-19 vaccine astrazeneca – safety assessment result: The vaccine is safe and effective in the fight against covid-19. Paul-Ehrlich-Institut. 2021. Available at https://www.pei.de/EN/newsroom/hp-news/2021/210319-covid-19-vaccine-astrazeneca-safety-assessment-result-vaccine-safe-and-effective.html;jsessionid=734B77911C71AA454CCA874524CE23E1.intranet211.

3. Naci rapid response: Recommended use of astrazeneca covid-19 vaccine in younger adults. Health Canada. 2021. Available at https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/immunization/national-advisory-committee-on-immunization-naci/rapid-response-recommended-use-astrazeneca-covid-19-vaccine-younger-adults.html.

4. Health canada taking further action to confirm the benefit-risk profile of the astrazeneca vaccine. Health Canada. 2021. Available at https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/news/2021/03/health-canada-taking-further-action-to-confirm-the-benefit-risk-profile-of-the-astrazeneca-vaccine.html.

5. Vaccine-induced prothrombotic immune thrombocytopenia (vipit) following astrazeneca covid-19 vaccination. Science Table: COVID-19 Advisory for Ontario. 2021. Available at https://doi.org/10.47326/ocsat.2021.02.17.1.0.

 

To read the statement, click HERE

April 1, 2021
SOGC Statement on the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD COVID-19 vaccines
 

About the SOGC

The SOGC is one of Canada’s oldest national specialty organizations. Established in 1944, the Society’s mission is to promote excellence in the practice of obstetrics and gynaecology and to advance the health of women through leadership, advocacy, collaboration, and education.

The SOGC has over 4,000 members, comprised of obstetricians, gynaecologists, family physicians, nurses, midwives, and allied health professionals working in the field of sexual reproductive health.


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Access to the JOGC is a benefit of SOGC membership.

Member Access to the JOGC is in the menu above or click here to access.

 

About the JOGC

The Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada (JOGC) publishes original research, reviews, case reports, and commentaries by Canadian and international authors, pertinent to readers in Canada and around the world. The Journal covers a wide range of topics in obstetrics and gynaecology and women’s health covering all life stages including the evidence-based Clinical Practice Guidelines, Committee Opinions, and Policy Statements that derive from standing or ad hoc committees of The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada.

The Journal emphasizes vigorous peer-review and accepts papers in English and French. Abstracts for all papers are available in both languages. JOGC is indexed in Medline.

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Designed by SOGC experts and employing the most current medical knowledge, our accredited online courses combine premier medical education with the convenience of online study. 

These courses are designed specifically for improving the learning experience and to tailor your educational experiences to meet your personal learning objectives.

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ALARM Courses
Improving care provided to women, babies and families during pregnancy, labour and delivery.

ALARM Courses

The SOGC places the utmost importance on improving intrapartum care, from the process to its outcomes. One way to achieve that objective is through offering continuing education programs like the ALARM course (Advances in Labour and Risk Management).

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Welcome and Overview

ALARM was developed by obstetricians/gynaecologists, family physicians, midwives and nurses, who jointly continue to maintain and teach the course. Backed by the SOGC, the ALARM course arose out of our work to improve the care provided to women, babies, and families during pregnancy, labour, and postpartum.

  • The content of the course is evidence-based and incorporates the Canadian practice guidelines, so participants who complete the course gain an understanding of the latest best practices for providing care.
  • The ALARM course objective is to evaluate, update and maintain the competence of obstetricians/gynaecologists, family physicians, midwifes and nurses.
  • This two-day course offers case-based and hands-on workshops.
  • This course is not intended to certify attendees in any procedural skills. It provides education and hands-on experience, but this is not a substitute for clinical exposure and mentorship.
  • The courses have a ratio of approximately 6 participants to 1 faculty member to ensure a highly interactive and educational course.
The ALARM certificate will be awarded only to those who pass the written examination and who attend the course in its entirety.

If you are unable to attend an ALARM course but would like to purchase an ALARM manual, please download this form  and submit it by email to alarm@sogc.com.

Upcoming Courses

Please note that there are currently no in person ALARM courses planned.

We have developed "ALARM Virtual", an independent online study program that is available for registration. For more information or to register, please click here.


If you would like to hold an ALARM course in your community, please contact us at alarm@sogc.com. Please note that a minimum of 12 participants is required.

Should you have any questions about your registration, please do not hesitate to contact us at alarm@sogc.com.

 

Instructor Courses - Overview

The ALARM program would not be possible without the efforts of specialists, physicians, nurses and midwives trained to teach this course to their peers. In order to maintain the quality of this highly recognized program, the ALARM Committee has identified specific requirements for instructors throughout Canada.

In order to be eligible to take the instructor course, you must:
  • Have participated in an ALARM course in the past 4 years
  • Be currently registered as an MD (Family Physician or OB/GYN), Registered Nurse or Registered Midwife
  • Be actively providing intrapartum obstetrical care

If you meet the above requirements and wish to participate in the ALARM instructor course, please submit an application at the link below. Please note, a letter of recommendation from your employer, department head or a current ALARM Course Director is required.


If you are selected, you will be sent a registration link for the course. At this point, you will be able to pay your registration fees ($650 plus applicable taxes for OB/GYN and FP doctors; $500 plus applicable taxes for Registered Nurses and Registered Midwives) and receive access to the course materials.

Your participation at the ALARM instructor course is not a guarantee that you will become a qualified ALARM Instructor. 

To become a qualified ALARM instructor, you must:
  • Complete the Instructor course
  • Teach a course
  • Receive a favourable evaluation from the Course Director

Please note you will be required to teach once every three years to maintain your status as an active instructor following a successful completion of the evaluation process. If you fail to do so, you will have to take another ALARM course or Instructor course to maintain your active instructor status.

Space is limited to 24 participants per course. 

Upcoming Instructor Courses

Richmond, BC - offered in English only

November 8, 2020

Please submit your application if you are interested in participating.

Selected candidates will be invited to register for the course.

Should you have any questions about your application, please do not hesitate to contact us at alarm@sogc.com.

 

Become a Member

The SOGC is the leading voice in women's health in Canada. We are a strong and vibrant society with an active and growing membership. We are here to support you in providing the best care possible to women in Canada and around the world. That's why so many health care providers have become members of the SOGC. Let us be your partner in practice.

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Live interactive forum - April 28, 2021
 
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The SOGC believes that good healthcare is built upon many partnerships and that improving healthcare requires a collaborative, holistic approach.

Providing the public with the information needed to make informed health decisions removes one barrier to improved health.

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