Program in Regional Anesthesiology

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Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology
Director, Program in Regional Anesthesia
Department of Anesthesiology, University of Maryland Medical Center
22 South Greene Street
Baltimore, Maryland, 21201
Telephone: 410-328-6120
Fax: 410-329-3138

Edwin Villamater, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology
Chief, Anesthesiology
2200 Kernan Drive
Baltimore, Maryland 21207
Telephone: 410-448-6418

The Program in Regional Anesthesia at the University of Maryland School of Medicine features a multidisciplinary group of anesthesiologists who provide advanced regional anesthesia approaches for a wide range of patients who come to UMMC and Kernan Hospital. Working primarily with general and orthopedic surgeons, the faculty performs over 3,000 regional blocks each year for elective and urgent orthopaedic procedures. Most regional anesthetics are provided at Kernan Hospital. As the number of regional anesthesia-trained faculty in the program grows, however, and the indications for regional anesthesia procedures expand, these efforts are increasing significantly at UMMC. The Department recently established a dedicated Regional Anesthesia Service at UMMC to provide these innovative approaches to more patients. Over the past year, the mission of the Program in Regional Anesthesia was to increase the delivery of regional anesthesia and improve analgesia in our diverse patient population. To that end, additional regional anesthesia-trained faculty have joined the department, and new regional anesthesia equipment was secured, including three stateof-the art ultrasound machines, echogenic-tip nerve-block needles, and all-inclusive nerve block catheter kits. In addition to standard nerve blocks for limb injuries or procedures, the ability to perform more thoracic and abdominal nerve blocks has grown significantly. Some examples include thoracic paravertebral blocks for rib fractures and thoracotomy procedures, transversus abdominis plane catheters for intra-abdominal procedures, and ultrasoundassisted neuraxial techniques. Patients and surgeons alike are reporting positive results with regional anesthesia techniques and are more frequently requesting these services for future procedures. The Program’s most unique contribution to patient care is the comfort level in safely placing regional blocks in adult patients who are heavily sedated or under general anesthesia – techniques that many other centers are still hesitant to perform. The coming year will bring the initiation of a Regional Anesthesia Service at UMMC, implementation of standardized pain management protocols for total joint replacement patients and trauma victims, more robust patient follow-up and documentation of post-block procedures, and the creation of a dedicated regional anesthesia database to capture all techniques and facilitate clinical research and performance improvement.

  • Research: Academic pursuits in the Program include IRB-approved research projects, article and book chapter publications, Grand Rounds lectures, and a rising presence at regional anesthesia conferences. With their special expertise in peripheral nerve blocks in trauma patients, ultrasound-guided techniques, and the development of a successful outpatient peripheral nerve block catheter program, the Program’s physiciansare often invited to lecture and train others nationally in the rapidly emerging field of regional anesthesiology.
  • Education: The Program initiated a Regional Anesthesia Fellowship at the University of Maryland, headed by Lise Asaro, M.D. based at Kernan Hospital and UMMC, with dedicated training and lectures. Resident education has also intensified, with simulation training and a greater focus on ultrasound use in regional techniques. In spring 2012, regional anesthesia faculty conducted one-on-one Ultrasound-Guided Regional Anesthesia Task Training sessions with each resident, and employed the newly purchased eZono simulation system in the MASTRI center to help trainees hone their clinical skills. Improvements in teaching have instilled confidence in residents to function independently in any regional anesthesia practice post-residency.

Faculty

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Fellows

  • Chase Smith, M.D.