University of Vermont

College of Medicine

Vermont Medicine Magazine

DEPARTMENT OF Anesthesiology ~ 2013 Annual Report

David Adams, M.D., Interim Chair

After 16 years as chairman of our department, Howard Schapiro, M.D., was named interim president, UVM Medical Group, Fletcher Allen Health Care, and senior associate dean of clinical affairs at the College of Medicine in February. David Adams, M.D., departmental vice-chair and associate dean for graduate medical education, is now serving as interim chair.

This past March, J. Christian Abajian, M.D., was presented with the Robert M. Smith Award by the Section of Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, a part of the American Academy of Pediatrics. The award is given each year to a physician who has contributed to the advancement of the field of pediatric anesthesiology. After completing undergraduate education and medical school at UVM, residency training in London, and fellowship in Toronto, Dr. Abajian began his practice here in 1974. By his count, he has helped train more than 250 residents. He also started keeping notes when he gave spinal anesthesia to infants, a clinical “sideline” that grew to become the Vermont Infant Spinal Registry. This unique database of more than 2,500 cases has sparked a number of studies, including a project by Robert Williams, M.D., and colleagues that compared the achievement test scores of children who had surgery with spinal anesthesia against the rest of the school-age population in Vermont. An abstract of this study won the best of category award in pediatric anesthesiology at the recent International Anesthesia Research Society annual meeting. This study, which is nearing publication, will be an important contribution to the understanding of whether general anesthetics given during infant surgery are potentially harmful to the developing brain.

Donald Mathews, M.D. is testing a noninvasive monitoring device by Masimo on patients in the recovery room that aggregates data from five physiologic parameters into one index. This index represents the patient’s current and trending recovery status, giving physicians a window on the pattern of recovery in patients following surgery and perhaps identifying early warning signs of subsequent postoperative complications. The department has recruited more than 250 subjects for this study, and Fletcher Allen plans to install this system in its intensive care units and some nursing floors.

Last modified January 07 2014 03:25 PM