Welcome to the 1st Annual Society for Pediatric Pain Medicine (SPPM) Meeting!

Dr. MeierBy Petra M. Meier, MD, DEAA
SPPM 1st Annual Meeting Program Chair

We are excited to welcome you to the 2014 Annual Meeting at the Marriott Harbor Beach Resort and Spa in Ft. Lauderdale, in sunny southeast Florida on Thursday, March 6, 2014. This wonderful location provides the setting for the advancement of education in the developmental aspects of pain in infancy and childhood, current controversies surrounding prescription drug abuse and diversion, and innovations in regional anesthesia, while interacting and networking with colleagues. You can extend your days in the sun by also registering for the SPA/AAP Pediatric Anesthesiology Meeting that will follow on March 7-9, 2014 at the same venue.

The SPA special interest group (SIG) on Pediatric Pain Medicine has grown up! While we have been able to offer you several well-received educational programs in recent years, this will be our 1st Annual Meeting as the Society for Pediatric Pain Medicine (SPPM). We have incorporated many suggestions from attendee feedback at our previous SIG meetings that have metamorphosed into a program of lectures, panel discussions, problem-based learning discussions and workshops with usable take home messages and ample time for interaction with the faculty. We are honored to have as our keynote speaker Professor Maria Fitzgerald from University College London who is an international expert in pediatric neurobiological processes that underlie the development of pain pathways.

This year’s program offers something of interest to all who care for children in pain, whether you are an anesthesiologist in the operating room, a regional anesthesia enthusiast, a practitioner taking care of children in the peri-operative period or in the pain clinic, a researcher interested in the effects of pain and analgesia on the developing brain or are concerned about the potential of opioid abuse in patients or staff.

We have assembled renowned faculty from across the country along with outstanding guest speakers to offer a unique educational experience. These efforts resulted in a maximum of 9 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ and if you plan to attend the SPA/AAP Pediatric Anesthesiology meeting you can achieve an additional 35 CME credits.

After a good breakfast with friends and exhibitors the meeting will kick-off at a jetlag-friendly time on Thursday morning at 8:00 AM with our keynote speaker Dr. Maria Fitzgerald. She will give us a short and long-term view of pain in infancy and childhood and help us to understand that:

  1. pain in infants and children is different from that in adults,
  2. pain pathways in the spinal cord and brain undergo a series of developmental changes over infancy and childhood that impact upon pain measurements, pain sensitivity and pain treatment, and
  3. long-term consequences of nerve injury and tissue inflammation in early life can have long term consequences upon pain processing in later life.

After that, Dr. Anne Lynn from Seattle Children’s Hospital will provide us with a practical review of the essentials of developmental pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics of commonly used opiates and ketorolac in infants and present possible problems that hamper use of analgesics in infants. After that join us for an interactive lively Panel Discussion.

Session 2 is a practical session on best practice for regional anesthesia from the operating room to home. It begins with Dr. Arjunan Ganesh exploring the indications for children being sent home with regional catheters utilizing continuous perineural infusions (CPNI), the development of an ambulatory CPNI program, and the management of most common problems. Dr. David Polaner will follow by highlighting best practice and avoidance of most common adverse events in regional anesthesia, reasons for complications of particular blocks and strategies for measuring and mitigating adverse events and improving quality and outcomes. Dr. Constance Houck will end this session with a review of pain management for minimally invasive procedures, different sources of pain after laparoscopic and thoracoscopic surgery, effective techniques to reduce shoulder - and diffuse abdominal pain and modalities to facilitate earlier hospital discharge.

At noon we offer the choice of a leisurely lunch with exhibitors and friends, a round table research discussion with our international keynote speaker Dr. Maria Fitzgerald, or problem-based learning discussions with our expert faculty. The round table research discussion will focus on what research has told us about the measurement and treatment of infant pain, research tools upon direct measures of brain activity following painful procedures which provide new insights for better measures of analgesic efficacy. It is limited to 20 registrants so register early!

After lunch, in Session 3, Dr. Jeffrey Galinkin and Dr. Keith Berge will address the current controversies of prescription drug abuse, abuse patterns, risk assessment, toxicology testing, and diversion in patients and staff and how you as the prescribing physician can decrease the odds for such outcome - a problem of increasing national significance.

Mid-afternoon, in Session 4, we will approach a serious subject in regional anesthesia with a more light-hearted pro-con debate followed by a rebuttal. Drs. Stephen Hays and Constance Monitto will debate peripheral nerve blocks versus central nerve blocks and review the historical development, current indications and contraindications of peripheral and neuraxial catheters and discuss their appropriate roles and potential complications in pediatric perioperative pain management.

The SPPM program concludes in the afternoon with a workshop on the nuts and bolts of establishing a pediatric pain program. Drs. Sabine Kost-Byerly, Giovanni Cucciaro and Alexandra Szabova will present an inter-institutional, East-West coast perspective for “Developing a Pediatric Pain Program” in your own institution. Their goal is to help you define the institutional needs and potential stakeholders, appropriate staffing, clinical care solutions and identifying components of a successful QI/QI program. Also Thursday afternoon, the SPA offers an acupuncture workshop and the ever popular ultrasound guided regional anesthesia workshop, both of which need separate registration.

As I complete my service as Program Chair, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude and heartfelt thanks to Bob Wilder, my vice chair to whom I am passing the baton for next year’s meeting, Sabine Kost-Byerly, our president whose tireless advocacy has made SPPM possible, Connie Houck, who encouraged and supported me as program chair, and the Educational Committee for their expertise and invaluable suggestions. I’d also like to extend my appreciation to the wonderful staff at the SPA office for their tireless assistance during this process. A huge “Thank You” goes to Boston Children’s Hospital who helped us financially to realize our lofty goal of sharing with you the international expertise of our keynote speaker. Everyone’s collective experience and great ideas made this outstanding program possible!

Enjoy your meeting and “Spring Break” in Ft. Lauderdale! I look forward to seeing you in Florida.

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