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CIMIT Forum: The Future of Anesthesia

CIMIT forumOn June 25, 2008, the Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology (CIMIT) hosted a forum called “Developments for the Future of Anesthesia and Critical Care.” The panelists convened to discuss the practice of anesthesia over the next ten years, including the increase in the number of operations performed on the elderly, the rising costs of medical care and new technological advances. Participants included Dr. Jeanine Wiener-Kronish, MD; Anesthetist-in Chief; Douglas Raines, MD; Emery Brown, MD, PhD; and Keith Miller, DPhil.

Before the panel discussion, Douglas Raines presented the results of preclinical studies on MOC-(R)-etomidate, a promising new intravenous agent designed to allow more precise control of anesthetic duration with a drug that has fewer cardiovascular and respiratory side effects. Because the agent metabolizes quickly, it reduces the duration of adrenal suppression, a serious side effect of the parent drug.

Jeanine Wiener-Kronish presented a discussion entitled, “Detection of All Bacteria — New Insight Into Diseases,” exploring the detection of bacteria using cultures compared with molecular techniques. She discussed the relative ineffectiveness of using cultures, pointing out that the method detects only 2% of bacteria because most bacteria cannot be cultured in the laboratory. Application of the molecular techniques is changing how ICU patients with infections are treated.

The panelists, moderated by CIMIT executive director and founder John Parrish, MD, discussed a wide range of topics related to the future of anesthesia, including the role of designer drugs, the need for drugs with fewer side effects, and the future of non-inhaled anesthetics. Panelists also explored the nature of anesthesia, including the mystery of consciousness and anesthesia’s unique role in inducing what Dr. Brown called a “reversible pharmacological coma.”

Learn more about upcoming CIMIT forums.

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Department of Anesthesia,
Critical Care and Pain Medicine
Gray-Bigelow 444
55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114

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