Happy Fall to all! I know your summer and early fall have been busy and, I hope, productive.
The AAP Section on Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine (SOA) Executive Committee is pleased to welcome two new members, who were recently elected to replace two members who have completed their terms and are rotating off the committee. Dr Courtney Hardy from Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago and Northwestern University and Dr Mohamed Rehman from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia were elected in early spring to begin terms on November 1. The committee wishes to thank Drs Jeff Koh and David Polaner for their many years on the Executive Committee and dedicated service to the AAP Section
The SOA has been advocating for research on neurotoxicity of anesthetic agents on several fronts. Dr Connie Houck, along with other key pediatric anesthesiologists, has testified before the FDA on this topic, encouraging more robust research in this area. A resolution proposing support of the FDA sponsored collaborative effort, SmartTots, written by Dr Joe Cravero, was submitted and adopted by the 2012 AAP Annual Leadership Forum. This resolution was adopted as one of the AAP's Top 10 Resolutions in 2012, and the Section has been tasked with moving forward on a parent information pamphlet describing the potential risk of neurotoxicity of anesthetic and sedative agents in children in layperson language. Drs Corrie Anderson and Connie Houck will work with the AAP Patient Education/Consumer team on this project.
In September, the FDA and the IARS sponsored a Scientific Workshop for SmartTots to discuss the safety of anesthetics administered to infants and young children at the FDA White Oak Campus in Silver Spring, Maryland. Representatives from seven AAP sections/committees were on hand to participate in this expert panel to review and discuss the available data and to formulate a consensus statement concerning the risks and benefits associated with sedation and anesthesia in children.
A Joint Surgery Conference, titled "Anesthetic Neurotoxicity: Are We Poisoning Children's Brains?" will be held at the AAP's National Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans in October 2012. All of the AAP surgical sections (as well as the Section on Perinatal Pediatrics) have been encouraged to attend the Joint Surgery Conference and a Surgical Specialists Reception, which will follow. This session will feature experts and section members, Dr Randall Flick and Dr Sulpicio Soriano, and will be moderated by Dr Houck. The session will conclude with an interactive discussion of the implications of these studies on the current practice of anesthesia, procedural sedation, and surgery and will feature representatives from four AAP surgical sections: Otolaryngology, Urology, General Surgery and Orthopedics. The SmartTots organization will have an exhibit at the Forum.
At the 2012 ASA annual meeting in Washington DC, SOA will once again be co-sponsoring a Subspecialty Panel with the SPA. This year's Subspecialty Panel will be on Tuesday morning, October 16, from 7:00 to 8:15 am, and is entitled Practical Tips for Pediatric Perioperative Pain Management in Children: A 2012 Perspective. We look forward to the ASA meeting and to the International Assembly for Pediatric Anesthesia, sponsored by the SPA. It should be a very exciting celebration of the SPA's 25th anniversary!
With the ABA certification examination for pediatric anesthesiology approaching, please see the separate article on page 8 of this newsletter detailing entry requirements and exam offerings. More information also may be found on the ABA website. ABA staff members will attend the IAPA in October and will be available at their exhibit booth to answer questions concerning the examination and MOCA.
The AAP Section is pleased to announce the selection of the 2013 Robert M. Smith awardee, Dr John Christian Abajian. This award is given annually by the AAP Section on Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine to a deserving physician who has contributed distinguished service to our specialty over the years. The award is presented at the winter educational meeting of the AAP/SPA. Last year's recipient was Dr Nishan Goudsouzian. The AAP Executive Committee seeks nominations from any interested pediatric provider for candidates deserving consideration of this prestigious award.
The Section continues to recruit the AAP Advocacy speaker for the AAP/SPA winter meeting and to sponsor the Ask the Experts lunch panel. The advocacy theme for 2013 is pediatric obesity, and the AAP Advocacy speaker is Dr Tom Robinson from Stanford University. Dr Robinson is well known for his research and publications on obesity. This lecture is scheduled for Friday, March 15, 2013.
Members of the Section are involved in updating AAP statements from SOA key authors and collaborating with other sections to update statements where there is common interest among multiple AAP sections. We expect a joint statement of the SOA and the AAP Committee on Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Relief of Pain and Anxiety in Pediatric Patients in Emergency Medical Systems, to be published in the November issue of Pediatrics. In addition, the Section is working with the SPA and ASA-COPA on a series of web-linked FAQs for parents about pediatric anesthesia to be posted on the AAP sponsored HealthyChildren.org and on the SPA's Web site.
I look forward to seeing you at the SPA/ASA/IAPA in Washington, DC!
Carolyn Bannister, MD
Chair, AAP Section on Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine