beth israel deaconess medical center a harvard medical school teaching hospital

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As a Level 1 Trauma Center, there are a large number of patients with severe central nervous system injury to both the brain and spinal cord. With four full-time neurosurgeons on staff, scheduled cases can range from craniotomies to endovascular interventions for aneurysms. In addition, the large spine surgery service is composed of neurosurgical and orthopedic spine surgeons who do everything from adult scoliosis correction to spinal tumor resection.

Resident Perspective

In your Neuroanesthesia rotation, you will be learning invaluable skills in intracranial pressure management (with 23.4% hypertonic saline, mannitol, lasix, etc.), fluid management, and intra-operative spinal cord monitoring. Many of these cases will need invasive monitoring and allow you daily opportunities for central line placement. The larger spine surgeries can be complicated by massive bleeding, which will require you to be very familiar with management of blood and component therapy.

Contact Information

Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine (Education Division)
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
East Campus, Rabb 239
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
P: 617-667-3110
F: 617-667-5050

A Day in the Life

"I try to arrive by 6:15am. Most neurology cases require extra-monitoring (such as arterial lines) so I like to have my room set-up in time to meet the patient by 6:30-6:45am. Very often the patients are in-patients and I would have met them the evening before their surgery to discuss the anesthetic plan and risks. In the pre-op area I introduce myself again and place an IV and arterial line. First case starts at 7:30am, with most craniotomies taking 3-5 hours. Typically I will have 2-3 scheduled cases per day. Usually you are assigned to either craniotomies or spine surgery procedures. By the time the last case ends, the following day's schedule is up. I learn about my patients for the next day and page my attending to discuss the anesthetic plan. If any patients are in-house, I will examine them, review their medical history and tell them what to expect the day of surgery. On most days that we have lecture I am relieved to attend, otherwise my day usually ends around 6pm."
-Radwan Safa, Class of 2015