ASRA Pain Medicine Update

Learn from the Experts, Get Hands-On Practice, and Connect with Colleagues at ASRA’s 2019 Spring Annual Meeting

Jan 30, 2019, 19:32 PM by Rajnish K. Gupta, MD

We are so excited for all of you to join us in Las Vegas, NV, at the Caesar’s Palace Hotel for ASRA’s 44th Annual Regional Anesthesiology and Acute Pain Medicine Meeting this April 2019. Our team has worked tirelessly over the past two years to assemble, refine, and expand our program to ensure we are presenting the latest science and clinical skills that our members need to succeed in their practice. We’ve recruited world experts in our field to serve as faculty, designed workshops and interactive sessions that will engage attendees and maximize the learning experience, and built in social activities so everyone has fun at the same time.

Understand the role that acute pain physicians can play in bending the curve in the opioid epidemic, both with individual patients and within the larger medical care system.

When our planning committee was researching some of the most important topics affecting our practice today, the opioid epidemic quickly rose to the top of the list. Overuse and opioid-related deaths are complex and multifaceted problems, so we have invited U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams to present his valuable perspective and framing of this tremendous problem. But defining the problem only gets us halfway, so Dr. Christine Greco, Dr. Asokumar Buvanendran, and Dr. Chad Brummett will help us understand the role that acute pain physicians can play in bending the curve in the opioid epidemic, both with individual patients and within the larger medical care system.

Regional anesthesia and orthopedic surgery have been advancing in parallel for decades. The advantages that regional anesthesia provides orthopedic surgery patients in pain control, earlier mobility, and earlier discharge have been described for many years. Our planning committee felt that this was the perfect time to review the current state of this relationship. Where does regional anesthesia fit into same-day total joint arthroplasty? What are the current advancements in the field that will allow shoulder arthroplasties to be done in ambulatory surgery facilities? How do we improve outcomes in patients dealing with acute hip fractures? This conversation will include regional anesthesia experts from ASRA as well as experts from orthopedic surgery (American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons and American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons) to help us develop a full, 360-degree picture of how to care for these patients. ASRA feels that the best way to move forward in this fast-paced surgical arena is through excellent collaboration and communication with our surgical colleagues.

Big data and information overload surround us as modern clinicians. With help from the ASRA Education Special Interest Group, we’ve designed a session for those of us who don’t know how to handle all the articles, journals, commentary, and new information presented to us every day. Dr. Brian Sites will lead a session on how the modern learner can deal with the information firehose by leveraging social media, e-learning, and crowdsourcing the best content. We’ll demonstrate the power of these tools with real-time interactivity on Twitter and the ASRA meeting app during the actual session. Quadratus lumborum, erector spinae, rhomboid intercostal and subserratus, infiltration between popliteal artery and capsule of knee, serratus anterior. Blocks for cardiac and thoracic surgery without an epidural, blocks for patients where a transverse abdominis plane block isn’t adequate, blocks that help patients mobilize earlier. Every day in our literature, new blocks are being described for a variety of purposes, each with their pros and cons. We have brought some of the original authors of these blocks to present the hands-on techniques, the science justifying the block, and new use cases for which we haven’t had good regional anesthesia options in the past. But everything new isn’t great. We’ve challenged our faculty to question the latest and greatest. Are these blocks flights of fancy, or do they serve an actual purpose?

As regional anesthesiologists increase their expertise with ultrasound, the demand for new use cases for ultrasound skills is expanding. Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) will become an integral part of a modern-day anesthesiologist’s practice in a very short time. It’s likely that an ultrasound probe will hang around your neck instead of a stethoscope in a few years. We’ve created a program that everyone of any skill level can start getting a taste of POCUS at the Spring Meeting. Attend a lecture and see where the science lies. Sit down with Dr. Anahi Perlas or Dr. Jan Boublik to learn how to get started with POCUS for gastric or respiratory assessment during Thursday’s problem-based learning discussion. Get started at the introductory workshop for basic POCUS or dive deeper into our more extensive hands-on workshop for everything POCUS—short of an echo. POCUS is part of our future, and we want to make sure the ASRA community has every reason to dive right in.

This is just a sample of the meeting. We discuss the transition from acute to chronic pain, nonopioid therapies for pain control, cannabinoids in modern acute pain management, simulation sessions for critical events, pediatric regional anesthesia, updates on obstetric regional anesthesia, controversies in regional anesthesia, perspectives from international physicians, and much more. We have a new format for the Ask the Experts interactive sessions that will truly emphasize the interactive portion of these talks. We have more opportunities for poster presenters to engage with our faculty and the attendees of the meeting. We’ll have a brand-new type of workshop where you have access to a model and an expert faculty with no agenda—you can explore the topic you want to explore and do a deep dive into a block that you may have struggled with. And to top it off, you can join us for fantastic social events throughout the meeting, in the exhibit hall, at prearranged small group dinners, and the blow-out bash at the Omnia on the final night. Go to to see the entire lineup of faculty and sessions.

Join us for the best ASRA meeting we’ve ever had. See you in Las Vegas!

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