The Department is involved in a variety of clinical and education research efforts that are all geared to improve patients’ clinical outcomes and how their care is delivered.

Ongoing studies include:

  • Robert Williams, M.D.., recently demonstrated in an influential article in Anesthesia & Analgesia that children who had spinal anesthesia for surgery as infants had similar subsequent school performance as children who did not have surgery during infancy, which is different from the results of other studies of children who received general anesthesia.   He continues this work in collaboration with investigators at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center to see whether multiple exposures to anesthetics have an impact on school performance .  He is also working with Joshua Nickerson. M.D. from the Radiology Department to develop a protocol to compare fMRI results from children who have had spinal anesthesia to those who did not.
  • William Paganelli, M.D., Ph.D.., is working on several projects with the Multicenter Perioperative Outcomes Group, which analyzes data contributed by more than 40 academic medical centers.  In one project he is analyzing the incidence and severity of drug administration errors.  In another, he is working the S. Patrick Bender, M.D. (see below) to analyze intraoperative lung protective ventilation strategies.
  • S. Patrick Bender, M.D.following publication of an important article in Anesthesia & Analgesia, is furthering his work with intraoperative lung protective strategies. He seeks to change operating room ventilator strategies using information developed from the care of patients in the intensive care unit. He is exploring the impact of changes in default settings, educational sessions, and intraoperative teaching materials.  He is utilizing the MPOG group to compare changes in ventilatory management at different medical centers.
  • Mitchell Tsai, M.D.. is conducting several interesting studies. In one he is exploring the cost saving and impact on outcomes by limiting preoperative testing before low-risk hand surgery.  In another he is investigating how residents around the country are educated in the principles of OR management. In a third he is exploring OR governance strategies in Vermont and other states.
  • Lydia Grondin, M.D. . and Borzoo Farhang D.O. recently completed a study examining the ability of a zinc lozenge to prevent post-operative sore throat.  Dr. Grondin and Kathy MacDonald, M.D.  are investigating the effect of adding clonidine to  local anesthesia for transverse abdominus plane (TAP) blocks following Cesarean Section.
  • Donald Mathews, M.D. is investigating the utility of enhanced respiratory monitoring during the care of the non-OR anesthesia (NORA) patient.  He is also interested in the feasibility of teaching residents to utilize the patient’s EEG under anesthesia to help guide their care.
  • Jacob Martin, M.D., is using time-based cost analysis to explore different staffing models for percutaneous aortic valve replacements. He will utilize this technique to consider the staffing models for other procedures.
  • Tim Dominick, M.D., ., ., is an investigator in the REGAIN trial, a multicenter study investigating the preferred anesthetic technique for return to function following hip fracture in the elderly.
  • Vincent Miller, M.D., is using medical simulation and the Clinical Simulation Laboratory to develop strategies to improve the  acquisition of skills needed in crisis situations and to develop strategies to improve crisis team building.
  • Mark Hamlin, M.D. is developing a protocol to investigate the best method to teach transthoracic ultrasound skills to residents and medical students.
  • Carlos Pino, M.D. has several studies underway at the Center for Pain Medicine. In one he is investigating the methodologies for cervical epidural steroid injections.  

Residents in the Department have developed their own independent research protocols:

  • Gabe Tharp, M.D., Ph. D., is conducting a study of glucose metabolism during major spine surgery. The work was presented at the American Society of Anesthesiologists meeting in October 2015.
  • Veena Graff, M.D., former resident and current pain fellow, is exploring the connection between listening to music in the perioperative period and patient and provider satisfaction and perioperative medication requirements.
  • James Wolf, M.D. is investigating the feasibility of using sphenopalatine ganglion block to treat post-epidural puncture headaches.