As the Director of the Pain Service at BC Children’s Hospital, I hope to integrate existing pain research teams within the organization to establish a robust infrastructure dedicated to pain research in children in the fields of acute, chronic and complex pain. I am also involved in a number of research projects in pediatric anesthesia. My primary focus is on the use of portable ultrasound imaging to improve the safety and reliability of common nerve block techniques.


Ultrasound Imaging of Pediatric Abdominal Walls
To assess if paediatric anesthesiologists are able to identify the Ilio-inguinal (Il) and IlioHypogastric (IH) nerves using ultrasound imaging. To assess how important ultrasound image quality is in nerve identification and if there is a more readily identifiable end point for II/IH nerve blockade.

Pediatric Caudal Epidural Anesthesia: Ultrasonic Evaluation of Local Anesthetic Spread
The technique of Caudal Epidural Anesthesia (CEA) is firmly established in pediatric anesthesia. It is commonly used to provide intra-operative and post-operative analgesia for patients receiving surgery below the umbilicus. For current practice of CEA, local anesthetic is injected blindly into the epidural space. This blocks nerve signals and stops pain sensation from areas below the umbilicus. We intend to convert the current blind technique to a directly visualized technique using ultrasound imaging.

Pediatric Complex Pain and Latency to Discharge
Chronic pain is defined as pain that persists longer than expected and is known to affect as many as 15 to 25 per cent of children and adolescents. Chronic pain in the pediatric population can evolve into a complex pain syndrome and affect a child's social, emotional, physical and developmental functioning. Despite the prevalence and known impact of complex pain in the pediatric population, it remains inadequately researched and under-treated. This retrospective chart review will present descriptive data summarizing the trajectory of interdisciplinary care received by children and adolescents discharged from the Complex Pain Service at BC Children’s Hospital.

Research Group Members

Bradley Hofmann, Summer Research Student