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Annual Reports

Pediatric Anesthesia

Dr. Mohamad Ahmad
Program Director

Pediatric anesthesia in London continued to develop in 2015 with multiple initiatives completed an in progress.

Dr. Lynn Conveney, my predecessor as director of the pediatric anesthesia program, retired this year. In addition to being a great clinician, teacher and mentor, Dr. Coveney was an ambitious and innovative administrator. Her accomplishments were many in her eight-year tenure. She improve pediatric patient safety and quality of care. She expanded the scope of pediatric out-of-operating room procedures at LHSC especially sedation for oncology procedures and the Minor Procedure Room. She introduced pediatric anesthesia call and encouraged subspecializatio nso that London kept up with pediatric centers across the country. She spearheaded the introduction of anesthesia assistants into our clinical work. She reached out to other pediatric programs both within London and across the country. She introduced nursing inservices to train PACU, PMDU and ward nurses in the principles of pediatric anesthesia. As a result the profile of our program improve tremendously. She worked to encourage our residents to pursue pediatric fellowships as well as to recruit fellowship-trained pediatric anesthesiologists. The most enduring contribution Dr. Coveney made was to make our program function as a true program, functioning at a level greater than the sum of its individual members. 

Dr. Gopa Nair joined our department in February after finishing a pediatric fellowship in Seattle. Since then, he has greatly expanded our pediatric regional anesthesia program and provided excellent teaching to our residents. 

In 2015, we introduced a once-monthly pediatric anesthesia journal club. It is well attended with over a dozen attendees each time and is telecast through the internet. Dr. Nair has been instrumental in facilitating it. 

Dr. Raju Poolacherla completed pediatric chronic pain training at The Hospital for Sick Children. He then initiated a multidisciplinary pediatric chronic pain program at Victoria Campus. It has expanded to a full-day Friday clinic. 

Dr. David Sommerfreund attended a pediatric perioperative ultrasound course in Boston and is planning to introduce it into clinical practice here. He also continues to develop the pediatric acute pain program with educational and research initiatives. Dr. Sommerfreund also participated in a pediatric surgery outreach program in South America. 

In 2015, we developed our first LHSC pediatric anesthesia handbook for our residents. It has been well received especially in its electronic format. We also developed an electronic resident evaluation system but the department-wide VENTIS system is expected to come into use soon. Some members of our program attended a pediatric simulation workshop this year with a view to start a pediatric anesthesia simulation program. We sought to obtain new airway equipment as well. 

Most encouraging is the continued interest our residents have in pediatric anesthesia. Three residents are currently planning pediatric fellowships and one has been accepted to The Hospital for Sick Children for July 2016. 

Academically, our goals for 2016 are to complete two research studies we have initiated involving pediatric acute pain and sedation for MRI. We hope to add other projects and eventually present and publish our results. We wish to focus on the use of new technology. We also plan to expand our journal club by inviting other centres to join by teleconference. Clinically, we plan to conduct some quality improvement projects as well as expand the use of regional anesthesia and perioperative ultrasound.