Night of the Machines hosted by Dr Mike Olympio at Wake Forest University School of Medicine

Internal compartment of the Mindray A7 anesthesia machine

I am grateful for the opportunity to have attended the Anesthesia Machine Workshop “Night of the Machines” put on by Dr Mike Olympio who has done so for about every other year at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. This year’s was held  in the Center for Applied Learning and was well attended by anesthesiology residents, the institution’s anesthesia technicians, several student nurse anesthetists, and a few visitors like myself.  The 13 hour program was built on break-out sessions of small groups reading and analyzing schematics and diagrams on older machines, presenting their findings, and followed by expert lectures tying classic design to current machine principals. Representatives from anesthesia machine companies such as Mindray and Drager were on hand who presented their companies newest machines–the Mindray A7 and the Perseus A500.  The Mindray’s internal components are pictured above. The Perseus has a ventilator powered by a turbine the size of an Oreo cookie that spins at 55,000 rpm.  The two day event concluded with a hands-on Datex Aestiva machine pre-anesthesia safety check-out in the simulation laboratory. Participants were challenged to uncover 9 problems laid before them by the author of this course. Dr Olympio provided home baked goods while catered lunch and dinner was enjoyed by all.

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Upper Extremity Regional Anesthesia

Illustrations for this review article are by Jennifer Gentry
Illustrations for this review article are by Jennifer Gentry

Pub Med has access available to this review of Upper Extremity Regional Anesthesia, authored by Joseph M. Neal, MD, J.C. Gerancher, MD, Quinn H. Hogan, MD et al.  It is wonderfully illustrated by Jennifer Gentry and provided on the web by US National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.

Children’s Tumor Foundation to Host 2014 Cupid’s Undie Run

Recognized as a leader and expert in the field, John Gerancher, MD, has held both clinical and academic positions in the field of anesthesia. For more than a decade, Dr. John Gerancher served as a professor of anesthesiology at Wake Forest University’s School of Medicine and as the medical director in several anesthesiology departments for the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. Beyond his professional responsibilities, Dr. John Charles Gerancher, also known to many as J.C., actively supports charitable organizations such as the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Children’s Tumor Foundation.

The Children’s Tumor Foundation (CTF) is preparing to host its 2014 Cupid’s Undie Run fundraiser, which will be held February 15, 2014. The Cupid’s Undie Run is a one-mile race in which participants run in their best underwear attire on Valentine’s Day weekend in an effort to raise money for the CTF. In 2013, the Undie Run was held in several cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia.

As a nonprofit organization, the CTF is dedicated to improving the lives of millions of individuals who are affected by neurofibromatosis, a condition that results in the growth of tumors along different nerves in the body. The organization strives to heighten awareness of the condition among the general public; provide assistance to individuals who have been diagnosed and their families; and to support research in order to find treatments and a cure for this disease.

Regional Anesthesia at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center

Dr. John Gerancher began practicing anesthesiology in 1995. He is currently a professor of anesthesiology at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine in North Carolina.

Wake Forest University’s Baptist Medical Center (WFUBMC) provides three types of regional anesthesia for its patients. Regional anesthesia, applied to hundreds of patients each month, has a low incidence of serious complications. It is often the choice of surgeons, when appropriate, because it provides superior pain relief, uses less narcotics, and creates a lower risk of blood clots for some surgeries than other forms of anesthesia.

There are three basic types of regional anesthesia. Peripheral nerve blocks, delivered by a needle or catheter, involve the injection of medication into the nerves of the patient’s limbs. Epidurals are injections of pain medicine, delivered in between the spinal bones, with a dosage sometimes designed to last two days. Finally, spinals are injections in between the bones of the back, which numbs the legs for one to eight hours, depending on the patient’s needs.

Dr. John Gerancher: Fighting Pain Using Multimodal Analgesia

A former professor at the departments of anesthesiology at Wake Forest School of Medicine and Stanford University School of Medicine, Dr. John Charles “JC” Gerancher has extensive experience promoting evidence-based solutions that anesthesiologists can use to improve patient care.

Recently, anesthesiologists have begun utilizing multimodal approaches to the administration of analgesic treatments, a method of pain management that prioritizes the use of specific combinations of drugs rather than prioritizing a single treatment. This approach has generally resulted in better patient outcomes by reducing the negative side effects of traditional analgesic regimens and better controlling pain before and after surgery.

Most anesthesiologists have prioritized the use of opioids like morphine in managing pain, but these drugs have well known adverse effects. The multimodal approach to analgesia involves introducing other drug treatments, including nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), paracetamol, local anesthetics, and adjuvants. Research has found that by using multiple drugs, ideally three or more, in the treatment of pain, analgesia is improved markedly in both perioperative and postoperative settings. While this approach has not become fully mainstream, with fewer than 25 percent of physicians providing multimodal treatments prior to surgery, pain specialists throughout the country are striving to ensure that anesthesiologists are informed about the benefits of combining analgesic treatments.