Meeting Reviews

CCAS Workshop Review

By Laura Diaz-Berenstain, MD
Director of Wellness and Resiliency
Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology
Division of Pediatric Cardiac Anesthesiology

Three afternoon workshops were held this year at the CCAS Conference.  Richard Ing, MD and Manchula Navaratnam, MD conducted an outstanding interactive workshop on Perioperative Management of Temporary Pacemakers.  A didactic lecture on arrhythmias and pacemakers was given by Dr. Navaratnam, followed by breakouts into two smaller groups to allow presentation of multiple case scenarios.  Participants received hands-on training with pacemakers and practiced trouble-shooting via utilization of an integrated patient simulator displaying real-time ECG tracings, allowing them to find solutions to temporary pacing issues with an actual pacemaker in their hands.  Scenarios were selected to provide experience with common pacing issues experienced when weaning patients from cardiopulmonary bypass.  Questions were encouraged throughout the workshop, and the program concluded with the presentation of several more summary cases, ensuring understanding of the important teaching points presented.

Nina Guzzetta, MD and Susan Staudt, MD presented a workshop entitled A Wellness Workshop for the Pediatric Cardiac Anesthesiologist:  Exploring Ways to Enhance Mental and Emotional Well Being.   After a short didactic presentation, attendees were encouraged to discuss and share existing issues within both the operating room environment and larger systems that could potentially affect team members’ mental and emotional well-being.  The importance of implicit culture was discussed, along with the importance of making sure that each team member feels valued.  Challenges of communicating in the cardiac OR environment and ways to prepare trainees for the cardiac operating room environment were also reviewed. The session finished with a wonderful meditation led by Dr. Guzzetta.

The workshop on Extracorporeal Life Support:  Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) Options, Decisions and Management was coordinated by Dr. Pablo Motta and presented by the multidisciplinary team of David L. S. Morales, MD and Joseph Rossano, MD, along with perfusionists Tami Rosenthal, James Reagor and Scott Lawson.  The workshop offered an introduction to a variety of ventricular assist devices, offering insight on selection of the appropriate device for a variety of patients. 

Dr. Morales also discussed the ACTION Network, a novel collaborative learning network for mechanical circulatory support that allows participant institutions to share experiences and information related to management of VAD’s in the pediatric population.  As the number of pediatric patients requiring a VAD is low and practice variability is high, participation in the ACTION Network facilitates the sharing of important clinical advances and improves critical outcomes for patients by engaging clinicians, researchers and industry via the rapid sharing and dissemination of new information.

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