Greetings to all AAP Section on Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine (SOA) members! I hope your year is off to a good start. Many exciting events are occurring in pediatric anesthesiology at this time.
The FDA/IARS consensus statement on anesthetic neurotoxicity is now available and has been published on the FDA and SPA Web sites. We are currently working to get the statement posted on both AAP.org (for pediatric specialists and subspecialists) and HealthyChildren.org (for families) and hope that those postings will be in place in the near future. The statement is the product of the September 2012 FDA/IARS Scientific Workshop for SmartTots, held to discuss the safety of anesthetics administered to infants and young children at the FDA White Oak Campus in Silver Spring, Maryland. You can read more information about that meeting, take a look at the consensus statement, and page through a January AAP News
article on the topic starting on page 11 of the Section's spring 2013 newsletter
At the AAP National Conference & Exhibition (NCE) last October, the AAP's Surgical Advisory Panel (SAP) and our Section presented the first-ever surgical plenary session, entitled "Anesthetic Neurotoxicity: Are We Poisoning Children's Brains?" The session was moderated by Dr Connie Houck and featured representatives from our section as well as four surgical sections, Otolaryngology, Urology, General Surgery and Orthopedics. Our section was represented by Dr Randall Flick and Dr Sulpicio Soriano. In addition, our section partnered with the Section on Perinatal Pediatrics to present a joint NCE program on "Analgesia, Sedation and Withdrawal in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit." I co-moderated the session with John Zupancic, NCE Program Chairperson for the Section on Perinatal Pediatrics; section members, Tom Mancuso, Lena Sun, and K. Sunny Anand were panelists. Tom Mancuso and I then led a brief session on new tools for the neonatal airway. Dr Ken Gold-schneider also presented a session, titled "Explaining the Unexplainable: Chronic Pain in Children."
At the SPA meeting preceding the ASA meeting last October in Washington DC, our Section sponsored the Ask the Experts panel and offered AAP materials and resources at a booth throughout the meeting.
The SOA continues to work with SPA and COPA (the ASA Committee on Pediatric Anesthesia) to develop educational resources for families on Web sites and in hard copy form. The AAP website for families is HealthyChildren.org; Dr Connie Houck is leading this AAP initiative. The SPA Communications Committee, Dr Dean Kurth and I are working together to develop web-based FAQs for parents about pediatric anesthesiology.
The first American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA) certification exam for pediatric anesthesiology will be offered October 19, 2013. Registration for this exam closed on February 15. All fellows who successfully passed the written anesthesiology certifying exam in 2012 were offered oral board exam dates this April in order to allow them to sit for the certification in pediatric anesthesiology in October. More information about the exam and entry qualifications may be found on the ABA website.
The upcoming winter AAP/SPA meeting in Las Vegas is March 14-17. The Congenital Cardiac Anesthesia Society (CCAS) and the Pediatric Pain Medicine Special Interest Group will hold full-day educational sessions on March 14 prior to the start of the AAP/SPA meeting. The AAP sponsored events include the Robert M. Smith award, the AAP advocacy lecture, the John J. Downes Research Awards and the Ask the Experts Panel. You will find detailed information about all of the AAP sponsored events, beginning on page 3 the Section's spring 2013 newsletter. We are especially pleased to present the 2013 Robert M. Smith award to 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. Don't miss the nice tribute to Dr Abajian by Dr Eva Fraser-Harris on page 5 of the Section's spring 2013 newsletter
Members of the Section are continuously involved in updating AAP statements and in authoring new educational materials. Currently, Dr Ken Goldschneider and Dr Joe Cravero are in the process of authoring a new AAP statement on "The Pediatrician's Role in the Evaluation and Preparation of Pediatric Patients Undergoing Anesthesia." The SPA and the ASA Committee on Pediatric Anesthesia have been invited to review that statement prior to publication. Dr Joe Tobias is writing a Section-sponsored Manual on Procedural Sedation for Infants and Children, which we hope will be published in 2014. In addition, Dr Jeff Galinkin and Dr Jeff Koh have drafted a statement on "Guidelines for the Recognition and Management of Iatrogenically Induced Opioid Dependence and Withdrawal in Children." On another front, Dr Courtney Hardy is working with the SPA executive committee and the ASA COPA to draft a pediatric anesthesiology work force survey, which will be distributed to pediatric anesthesia practices in an effort to gain knowledge about future staffing needs in our specialty. See more detailed information about this project on page 9 of the Section's spring 2013 newsletter
On the political and advocacy front, now that elections are over, hospitals and care providers await changes to the Medicaid expansion programs in each state and the impact those programs will have on patients' access to healthcare. While the federal government contribution to state Medicaid programs will increase for those states participating in the expansion, the AAP is concerned that some states may opt out, leaving some of their uninsured bringing in too much income to qualify for Medicaid yet too little to buy private insurance. The AAP will work with states to ensure that children continue to receive quality healthcare independent of their family's coverage.
The Section on Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine will be 50 years old in 2015. Ideas and suggestions are being solicited from section members as the planning starts for our celebration just two short years from now. Send any creative ideas to Carolyn Bannister (firstname.lastname@example.org
), Connie Houck (email@example.com
) or Jen Riefe (firstname.lastname@example.org
). I look forward to seeing you all in Las Vegas.
Carolyn Bannister, MD
Chair, AAP Section on Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine