Browse our news, publications and events from the Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital.

07/15/2014: #1 in New England, #2 in the nation

U.S. News & World Report ranks Massachusetts General Hospital among the top hospitals in America based on our quality of care, patient safety and reputation in 16 specialties.

05/16/2014: In General Awards and Honors: May 16, 2014

In General Awards and Honors: May 16, 2014

03/27/2014: Improving Burn Care in Ukraine

A resident in the Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital shares his experience in Ukraine caring for burn patients after receiving a Center for Global Health Travel Award.

02/28/2014: Nurses on the run

Six nurses on the Blake 12 Intensive Care Unit are planning to run the 2014 Boston Marathon – five for charity teams and one as a qualified runner.

11/06/2013: Postoperative pain may increase risk of temporary problems with learning, memory

The pain caused by a surgical incision may contribute to the risk of postoperative cognitive dysfunction, a sometimes transient impairment in learning and memory that affects a small but significant number of patients in the days following a surgical procedure.

10/31/2013: Automated system promises precise control of medically induced coma

Putting patients with severe head injuries in induced comas requires constant monitoring of brain activity and manual adjustment of drug dosage. Now a computer-controlled system promises to automate the process, making it more precise and efficient and opening the door to more advanced control of anesthesia.

08/02/2013: James Rathmell named first Beecher professor

James P. Rathmell, MD, executive vice chair and chief of the Division of Pain Medicine in the MGH Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, has been named as the inaugural incumbent of the Henry Knowles Beecher Professorship of Anesthesia.

06/21/2013: Dream come true: MGH researcher selected as NASA astronaut trainee

When Jessica Meir was 5 years old, she drew a picture of what she wanted to be when she grew up. Thirty years later, the PhD and assistant biologist in the MGH Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine recalled that crayon creation when discussing how her dream of becoming an astronaut may now become a reality.

03/05/2013: EEG patterns indicate when patients lose, regain consciousness under propofol anesthesia

MGH investigators have identified specific EEG signatures that indicate when patients lose and regain consciousness under the general anesthetic drug propofol. The findings should lead to better ways of monitoring awareness and tracking other aspects of the brain states of patients under anesthesia.

01/24/2013: Neuroinflammation may be behind general-anesthesia-associated learning disabilities

Two studies in mice suggest that several factors may combine to induce impairments in learning and memory, accompanied by the inflammation of brain tissue, in young mammals receiving general anesthesia and that the offspring of animals that received general anesthesia during pregnancy may show the same effects.

12/21/2012: Toys, toys, toys

MGH departments host annual Toys for Tots competition.

12/07/2012: Enhancing the patient and family experience

Local artist donates prints to the MGH Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) waiting room.

11/05/2012: MGH/MIT study discovers how brain activity changes when anesthesia induces unconsciousness

Investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital and Massachusetts Institute of Technology have identified for the first time a pattern of brain activity that appears to signal exactly when patients lose consciousness under general anesthesia.

10/16/2012: Drugs used to immobilize patients during surgery raise risk of respiratory complications

MGH researchers have found that medications currently used to immobilize patients during surgery can increase the risk of postoperative respiratory complications.

10/16/2012: Back pain relief from an unlikely place

Christopher Gilligan, MD, medical director of the Center for Pain Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, discusses the benefits of spine cord stimulation.

09/28/2012: Major NIH grants support innovative research projects

Two MGH-led research teams and one MGH investigator have received major grants from the National Institutes of Health.

09/10/2012: More pregnant women taking high blood pressure drugs, yet safety unclear

Nearly 5 percent of pregnant women are prescribed drugs to treat high blood pressure, including some drugs that aren’t considered safe for mothers or their babies.

08/17/2012: Team helps treat burn victims in Ukraine

The Doctors Collaborating to Help Children organization recently launched a new telemedicine program allowing MGH and Shriners physicians to provide quick and efficient consultations for acutely ill burn patients in Ukraine.

08/10/2012: In Generals: 08.10.12

In General awards and honors

07/17/2012: Massachusetts General Hospital Ranked #1 in the Nation on U.S. News & World Report Honor Roll

Massachusetts General Hospital has moved into the number one spot on the 2012-13 U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Hospitals” list.

07/13/2012: Xue named first recipient of Amelia F. Gardner Memorial Award

Feng Xue, senior financial analyst in the Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, was honored June 26 as the first recipient of the Amelia F. Gardner Memorial Service Award in recognition of her “nurturing nature, dedication, selflessness and patience.”

07/13/2012: In General: July 13, 2012

In General: July 13, 2012

06/29/2012: Cemetery tour keeps history alive

Each spring Elliott Miller, MD, brings together a new generation of physicians to learn about their predecessors, a unique occasion in that the students are the teachers – each is tasked with making a presentation – and their classroom is the Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge.

06/01/2012: Massachusetts General Hospital physician receives Traveling Fellowship Award

Ersne Eromo, MD, of the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, receives scholarship to spend a month teaching anesthesia in a developing country.

05/11/2012: In General 05.11.12

In General awards and honors

04/05/2012: Recovery from propofol anesthesia may be sped by use of common stimulant

The ability of the commonly used stimulant methylphenidate (Ritalin) to speed recovery from general anesthesia appears to apply both to the inhaled gas isoflurane, as previously reported, and to the intravenous drug propofol.

03/01/2012: Study reveals how anesthetic isoflurane induces Alzheimer's-like changes in mammalian brains

The association of the inhaled anesthetic isoflurane with Alzheimer's-disease-like changes in mammalian brains may by caused by the drug's effects on mitochondria, the structures in which most cellular energy is produced.

02/10/2012: EEG pattern reflects brain's shift into low-energy, protective mode

A distinctive pattern of brain activity associated with conditions including deep anesthesia, coma and congenital brain disorders appears to represent the brain's shift into a protective, low-activity state in response to reduced metabolic energy.

02/10/2012: Department of Anesthesia collaboration aims to improve postoperative care in rural Uganda

IN THE UNITED STATES and other developed nations, caregivers can access to the latest technologies and techniques, allowing them to improve patient outcomes and comfort. Unfortunately, clinicians in developing countries often lack these critical resources.

12/23/2011: Friendly competition brings holiday joy

The battle began brewing at the MGH in the final weeks of November.

10/26/2011: October 20, 2011 in Misrata, Libya:The day the humanitarian imperative, unexpectedly, meets freedom

MGH anesthesiologist Catherine Mullaly shares her account of working as a Durant Fellow at Qasr Ahmed Hospital in Misrata, Libya during the fall of Sirte, the capture of Qaddafi, and the liberation of the Libyan people.

10/20/2011: Mass General's Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine celebrates Ether Day

Massachusetts General Hospital’s Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine honors employees and celebrates Ether Day, the anniversary of the first public demonstration of anesthesia in 1846.

10/01/2011: Ronald Minter, MD, becomes anesthesia chief at Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA)

Ronald Minter, MD, of the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, is promoted to chief of Anesthesia at Cambridge Health Alliance.

09/21/2011: Common stimulant may speed recovery from general anesthesia

Administration of the commonly used stimulant drug methylphenidate was able to speed recovery from general anesthesia in an animal study conducted at MGH. The report is the first demonstration in mammals of what could be a safe and effective way to induce arousal from general anesthesia.

04/22/2011: SAC meeting

The 64th meeting of the MGH Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) on April 14 celebrated key accomplishments of MGH investigators, past and present, and examined strategies for meeting the challenges currently facing the academic biomedical research community.

04/08/2011: SAC meeting to honor past scientific leadership, address current challenges

ALL MGHERS are invited to attend the 2011 meeting of the MGH Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC), which will commemorate the hospital’s bicentennial with a look back at significant research accomplishments of MGH investigators and examine challenges facing today’s research community.

01/14/2011: In General: J.A. Jeevendra (Jeeva) Martyn, MD, and Jeannie T. Lee, MD, PhD

MGH Hotline 01.14.11 In General awards and honors

12/29/2010: Uncovering the neurobiological basis of general anesthesia

Emery Brown, MD, PhD, author of a New England Journal of Medicine review article, lays out a conceptual framework for understanding general anesthesia by discussing its relation to sleep and coma.

08/03/2010: Featured Doctor: Ronald Minter

The Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine spotlights Ronald Minter, MD.

07/16/2010: Future philanthropists support MGHfC

THE YOUNGEST of philanthropists recently demonstrated their support for pediatric patients at MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC).

02/23/2010: Study Should Prove Helpful in Quest for Safer, More Effective Blood Substitutes

A study published in the March 2010 issue of the journal Anesthesiology gives researchers new insights in how to better understand and control a severe side effect of hemoglobin-based oxygen carriers, often referred to as "artificial blood."

02/19/2010: IV infusion devices move from "smart" to "intelligent"

MGH Hotline 02.19.10 In the late 1990s, the MGH transformed patient intravenous (IV) medication safety by conceptualizing and developing the "smart" drug infusion pump -- an invention that was first deployed at the MGH and has since proven highly useful in clinical care worldwide.

02/12/2010: Featured Doctor: Scott Streckenbach

The Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine spotlights Scott Streckenbach, MD.

12/04/2009: Facing a better future

MGH Hotline 12.04.09 When she looked in the mirror, the long jagged scars running across her cheek reflected back at her, a disturbing reminder of the physical and emotional abuse she suffered at the hands of the father of her children.

11/20/2009: MGH Center for Pain Medicine renovates and expands

MGH Hotline 11/20/2009 AS ONE OF THE LARGEST and most advanced pain centers in the Northeast, the MGH Center for Pain Medicine offers multidisciplinary care for individuals with acute, chronic and cancer-related pain as well as coordinated consultative services for hospitalized and ambulatory patients.

11/20/2009: MGH Center for Pain Medicine renovates and expands

MGH Hotline 11.20.09 As one of the largest and most advanced pain centers in the Northeast, the MGH Center for Pain Medicine offers multidisciplinary care for individuals with acute, chronic and cancer-related pain as well as coordinated consultative services for hospitalized and ambulatory patients.

11/03/2009: Featured Doctor: Aalok Agarwala

The Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine spotlights Aalok Agarwala, MD.

10/23/2009: Brown named to Zapol professorship

MGH Hotline 10.23.09 The Warren M. Zapol Professorship in Anaesthesia, a new endowed chair at Harvard Medical School (HMS), has been established to honor the clinical and research accomplishments of Warren M. Zapol, MD, who served as anesthetist-in-chief in the MGH Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine from 1994 to 2008 and who is now the department's anesthetist-in-chief emeritus.

10/16/2009: A new and improved Post Anesthesia Care Unit

MGH Hotline 10.16.09 A new and improved Post Anesthesia Care Unit Patients recovering from surgery in the MGH Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) now are cared for in a new 20-bed unit nearly double the square footage of the previous facility.

07/24/2009: Featured Doctor: Padma Gulur

The Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine spotlights Padma Gulur, MBBS.

05/20/2009: Featured Doctor: Zhongcong Xie

The Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine spotlights Zhongcong Xie, MD.

04/06/2009: Simple bedside test improves diagnosis of chronic back pain, could guide treatment

A simple and inexpensive method of assessing pain, developed by Massachusetts General Hospital researchers, is better than currently used techniques for distinguishing neuropathic pain – pain caused by damage to the nervous system – from other types of chronic back pain.

03/13/2009: Acute Pain Service established for 24-hour pain management

The MGH Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care on Jan. 5 launched the Acute Pain Service under the guidance of department chief Jeanine Wiener-Kronish, MD.

02/06/2009: Featured Doctor: Jean Kwo

The Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine spotlights Jean Kwo, MD.

01/05/2009: Nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord sense pain caused by physical insult

Mass. General researchers and the colleagues add to understanding of the role of the protein COX2 in pain associated with inflammation.

12/09/2008: Research team explores causes of death on Mount Everest

In the first detailed analysis of deaths during expeditions to the summit of Mt. Everest, a research team led by MGH investigators has conducted found that most deaths occur during descents from the summit in the so-called “death zone” above 8,000 meters and identified factors associated with a greater risk of death.

11/11/2008: Featured Doctor: Meredith Albrecht

The Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine spotlights Meredith Albrecht, MD.

09/04/2008: Featured Doctor: Lucy Everett

The Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine spotlights Lucy Everett, MD.

MGH Hotline
09/30/2011: MGH Hotline

View this week's issue
In this week's issue: "Revolutionary potential," "Saying 'I Do' in the Lunder," "Capt. 'Sully' visits the MGH," and more.

05/01/2014: Critical Care Grand Rounds: Providing Compassionate and Effective Perioperative Palliative Care from Preoperative Clinic through Postoperative ICU

Rebecca A. Aslakson, MD, discusses effective perioperative palliative care and its role in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

Haiti photos by Dr. Paul Firth

Dr. Paul Firth, a physician in the Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, participated in the Haiti relief effort on the hospital ship USNS Comfort as part of Project HOPE.

Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine: Embracing the Mass General Mission

Join Jeanine Wiener-Kronish, MD, Anesthetist-in-Chief, for a peek at how the Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine celebrates its history, its people and embraces the four-part mission of Massachusetts General Hospital – patient care, education, research and community outreach.

Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine: Our Research

Learn more about research in the Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital.