The Division of Pediatric Anesthesia provides perioperative and procedure-related anesthesia services for the children of the state of New Mexico, the Native American Nations, and the greater Southwest region. The Division is comprised of seven pediatric anesthesiologists with specialized training, and two pediatric anesthesia Fellows. Anesthesia support for a broad variety of procedures is provided, including major pediatric abdominal, thoracic, orthopedic, ophthalmology, dental, ENT, neurosurgical and urologic surgeries. A pediatric cardiac surgery program has recently been developed with great success. In addition, an active pediatric regional anesthesia program has been successfully implemented. Division members also provide oversight of the Children’s Hospital pediatric sedation service. Overall, approximately 4,500 pediatric anesthetics are conducted each year.
Research activities in the Division have escalated dramatically in the last three years, with four active clinical studies currently underway. One area of great promise is our investigation of the potential neurotoxic effects of early anesthetic exposure on the developing human brain, a collaborative research effort with the New Mexico MIND Institute, and the Division of Pediatric Neurology.
Resident and Fellow education in the principles and practice of pediatric anesthesia, and the scientific and evidence-based foundations of safe practice take place continuously. An advanced CA-3 rotation in pediatric anesthesia is now offered, and an ACGME-certified pediatric anesthesia Fellowship is offered for those trainees seeking a future in academic practice. Exposure to pediatric TEE and ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia techniques are readily available. A weekly Fellows lecture series, and quarterly Division Journal Club and Morbidity & Mortality sessions are open to all Department Faculty and trainees. Ample opportunities exist for Residents and Fellows to direct important pediatric perioperative quality improvement projects. The Division participates in several national quality of care initiatives, including the PRAN (pediatric regional anesthesia network) and the CCAS/STS registry for pediatric cardiac surgery outcomes.
Educational activities also include real-time instruction of “outside learners” from other programs including EMS/Lifeguard personnel, Residents from Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics, UNMH pediatric hospitalists and community physicians, all benefiting from instruction in airway and vascular access management. These collaborations assure ready access to patients, families and clinicians for perioperative, point of service care.