(Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Vydehi Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Whitefield, Bangalore, India.)
Ingemar Ingemarsson was a Swedish obstetrician and gynecologist who passed away few years back. Born and brought up in Southern Sweden and educated in the University of Lund, Ingemarsson became faculty in the department of obstetrics and gynecology in the same institute. In the 1970s, he is credited to have revolutionized the way Sweden’s hospitals performed with respect to maternity care. It is noted that the first cardiotocograph was introduced under his supervision, by the encouragement of his teacher, Prof. Lars Bengston. His main areas of interest included preterm birth and fetal surveillance during labor. A simple PubMed search of the name Ingemarsson reveals that he had published extensively from early 1980s to 2005, over varying topics in obstetrics. The impact of his research has been significant. Though now losing prominence, terbutaline was a well established tocolytic agent for over three decades. However, it can also be used in birth asphyxia. One of the main research projects which established terbutaline for this use was Ingemarsson’s thesis project done in coordination with a pharmacologist of his institute. Most standard books carrying chapters on tocolytic therapy regularly quoted many of Ingemarsson’s publications. In 1993, his book titled ‘Fetal Heart Rate Monitoring: A practical guide’ was rather famous and guided obstetricians in the correct usage and interpretation of the cardiotocograph.
He was a guide and mentor to scores of students and he was respected and revered by all. In the late 1990s and 2000s, he was a regularly invited speaker in perinatal meets all over the world. He particularly coordinated with institutions in Singapore as a visiting consultant. He visited India in 2004 and lectured at many institutions. Honoring the yeoman service rendered by Ingemarsson, the Nordic society of obstetrics and gynecology conducted a symposium on preterm birth in the FIGO world congress held in 2015. Ingemarsson’s life and work shall remain an inspiration for obstetricians world over.
Montan S, Arulkumaran S. Tribute to a great obstetrician: in memory of Ingemar Ingemarsson. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2015 Mar;94(3):333-5.
Ingemarsson I, Arulkumaran S, Ratnam SS. Single injection of terbutaline in term labor. I. Effect on fetal pH in cases with prolonged bradycardia. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1985 Dec 15;153(8):859-65.
Jørgensen JS, Jacobsson B, Vinter CA, Lamont RF, Maršál K. Ingemar Ingemarsson Memorial Symposium on preterm delivery at the XXI FIGO World Congress. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2016 May;95(5):495-500.
Prasad M. Remembering Past Greats: Ingemar Ingemarsson. JPGO 2019. Volume 6 No.5. Available from: https://www.jpgo.org/2019/05/remembering-past-greats-ingemar.html