Trust anaesthetists take top three prizes

Dr Stephen Cullen and Dr Alison Blair, anaesthetic registrars at Craigavon Area Hospital, with their project supervisors, Dr Jeffrey Brown and Dr Shiva Arava, consultant anaesthetists. INPT23-002
Dr Stephen Cullen and Dr Alison Blair, anaesthetic registrars at Craigavon Area Hospital, with their project supervisors, Dr Jeffrey Brown and Dr Shiva Arava, consultant anaesthetists. INPT23-002

Anaesthetists from the Southern Health and Social Care Trust have scooped the top three places in a province-wide competition.

The initiatives they developed will be used to benefit patients.

Dr Stephen Cullen and Dr Alison Blair, anaesthetic registrars based at Craigavon Area Hospital, came joint first place in the annual Dundee Medal competition, organised by the Northern Ireland Society of Anaesthetists. Meanwhile, staff grade Dr Jill Cochrane, who works at Daisy Hill, took second prize.

Dr Cullen’s award was for the introduction of a novel core temperature monitor to aid in the prevention of hypothermia during surgery. Under the supervision of consultant anaesthetist Dr Jeffrey Brown, Stephen’s assessment of a new adhesive skin pad device showed it to be as accurate as more invasive techniques and this technology, which is relatively new to the UK, has been approved for use in Southern Trust theatres and intensive care areas.

Dr Blair came joint first for her project to improve recovery for breast surgery patients. Under the guidance of consultant anaesthetist Dr Shiva Arava she introduced measures which greatly improved pain relief, reducing the amount of morphine needed and prevented postoperative nausea and vomiting, contributing to a much earlier discharge. These measures are now being implemented as part of an enhanced recovery pathway for all breast cancer surgery patients.

Dr Cochrane’s project, overseen by consultant anaesthetist Dr Aidan Cullen, aimed to help improve safety and quality of care for patients who need a medical device to keep their airways open during anaesthesia. She demonstrated a new, safer technique and implemented its use through awareness training for colleagues.