Welcome to ISTH 2019 in Melbourne! The meeting was kicked off with an exciting opening ceremony and reception combining science, local culture, and even some of the local wildlife. Uncle Ian Hunter, an elder member of the Wurundjeri Wilam people, began with an aboriginal song welcoming everyone to Melbourne. The night continued with aboriginal dances from both Australia and New Zealand.
Robert Medcalf, Ph.D., the ISTH 2019 Congress President, began the meeting with an impassioned address welcoming everyone to the annual meeting. This year’s meeting has over 5150 registrations who are attending from over 95 countries and the program consists of 7 clinical and 5 basic science themes. He closed by stating how proud he was that everyone has come so far to experience this meeting with him in Melbourne, exploring the city, and all of the local culture Australia can offer.
Claire McLintock, M.D., President of the ISTH, was then introduced. This is the 50th anniversary of the ISTH and culminates 50 years of scientific research and breakthroughs. The society has focused on improving communications and collaborations across the world, ultimately to improve the care of patients. McLintock also highlighted the work of the Scientific and Standardization Committee, whose work is now fully integrated into the yearly program. She closed her address by thanking the scientists and ISTH members for their passion to research and the care of patients.
For the scientific plenary session, Beverley Hunt, M.D., OBE brought to light an underrecognized and widespread global problem, postpartum hemorrhage (PPH). She began the session by stating, “postpartum hemorrhage is a huge global problem in which one woman dies every four minutes and accounts for one in every 200 deaths globally.” She stressed that now is the time to start a major international effort to improve care of PPH similar to the attention given to traumatic coagulopathy over the last 10 years.
Hunt left the audience with three key messages including: 1. Asking the ISTH community to look towards translational research in PPH, 2. Blood needs to be available for patients with PPH, in low- and middle-income countries, and 3. TXA should be available and used in the correct patients. Hunt left the audience with a song that reminded the delegates to help save the mothers and their children and improve the global crisis of PPH.
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