Research within SPANZA Community

The Research Committee of SPANZA is hoping that a policy of open information exchange between members will prevent duplication and improve the cooperation between researchers.

If you contact Dr Brian Anderson who is Chairman of the SPANZA Research Committee he can assist you in finding people in the same field of research.

SPANZA Research Contacts

Brian Anderson:
Andrew Davidson –
David Costi –
Jonathan de Lima –
Britta von Ungern Sternberg –

Publications (for period of Jan – March 2016)

  1. Hogan B, Keating M, Chambers NA; von Ungern-Sternberg BS. Audit of Anaesthetic Trainees “Hands on” operating room experience in an Australian tertiary children’s hospital. Pediatric Anesthesia 2016 in print
  2. Drake-Brockman TFE, Datta A, von Ungern-Sternberg BS. Monitoring with Google Glass: a Pilot Study of a Novel Monitoring Technology. Pediatric Anesthesia 2016 in print
  3. Jagannathan, N, von Ungern-Sternberg BS. Airway device research in pediatric anesthesia: More than just Device A vs. Device B? Pediatric Anesthesia 2016 in print
  4. von Ungern-Sternberg BS, Regli A. Big problem, small incidence, and large registry datasets. Lancet Respir Med 2016; 4: 5-6.
  5. Davidson AJ, Disma N, de Graaff JC, Withington DE, Dorris L, Bell G, Stargatt R, Bellinger DC, Schuster T, Arnup SJ, Hardy P, Hunt RW, Takagi MJ, Giribaldi G, Hartmann PL, Salvo I, Morton NS, von Ungern Sternberg BS, Locatelli BG, Wilton N, Lynn A, Thomas JJ, Polaner D, Bagshaw O, Szmuk P, Absalom AR, Frawley G, Berde C, Ormond GD, Marmor J, McCann ME; GAS consortium. Neurodevelopmental outcome at 2 years of age after general anaesthesia and awake-regional anaesthesia in infancy (GAS): an international multicentre, randomised controlled trial. Lancet. 2016 Jan 16;387(10015):239-50. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(15)00608-X. Epub 2015 Nov 4 Erratum in: Lancet. 2016 Jan 16;387(10015):228.
  6. Swan BC, Robertson SJ, Tuxen A, Ma E, Yip L, Ly L, Bingham L1, Davidson A, Bekhor P Pulsed dye laser treatment of capillary malformations in infants at 2-weekly versus 3-monthly intervals, reducing the need for general anaesthesia. Australas J Dermatol. 2016 Feb 23. doi: 10.1111/ajd.12457. [Epub ahead of print]
  7. Taghizadeh N, Davidson A. Does clonidine premedication decrease postoperative pain in children? Journal of paediatrics and child health 2016 52 (1), 93-94
  8. Taghizadeh N, Davidson A, Williams K, Story D. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and its perioperative management. Paediatr Anaesth. 2015 Nov;25(11):1076-84. doi: 10.1111/pan.12732. Epub 2015 Aug 6.
  9. Suemori T, Skowno J, Horton S, Bottrell S, Butt W, Davidson AJ. Cerebral oxygen saturation and tissue hemoglobin concentration as predictive markers of early postoperative outcomes after pediatric cardiac surgery. Pediatric Anesthesia. 2016 Feb;26(2):182–9.
  10. Baker PA, Navaratnarajah J, Black AE: Assessment and management of the predicted difficult airway in babies and children. Anaesthesia & Intensive Care Medicine 2015; 16: 622-631
  11. Perry C, Samuelsson C, Cyna AM.  Preanesthetic nurse communication with children and parents–an observational study. Paediatr Anaesth. 2015 Dec;25(12):1235-40. doi: 10.1111/pan.12759.
  12. Wolf A, Blackwood B, Anderson BJ. Tolerance to sedative drugs in PICU: Can it be moderated or is it immutable? Intensive Care Medicine 2016; 42(2):278-81
  13. Standing JF, Anderson BJ, Holford NHG, Lutsar I, Metsvaht T. Pharmacokinetic studies in neonates: The utility of an opportunistic sampling design. Clin Pharmacokinet 2015; 54 (12), 1287-1288
  14. Cortínez LI, Anderson BJ, Holford NH, Puga V, De la Fuente N, Auad H, Solari S, Allende FA, Ibacache M. Dexmedetomidine pharmacokinetics in the obese. Eur J Clin Pharmacol 2015; 71 (12):1501-8
  15. Ganeshalingham A, Anderson BJ, Zuccollo J, Davies-Payne D, Beca J. Porcelain Lung – calcification in severe Bordetella pertussis infection. Arch Dis Child EPub 11 Feb 2016
  16. Vega E, Ibacache M, Anderson BJ, Holford NH, Nazar C, Solari S, Allende FA, Cortínez, LI. Rocuronium pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics in the adductor pollicis and masseter muscles. Acta Anaesthesiol Scand 2016 EPub Feb 22
  17. Wilton N, Lee C, Doyle E. Developmental anatomy of the airway. Anaesthesia & Intensive Care Medicine 2015; 16: 611-15
  18. Hamill JK, Rahiri J-L, Liley A, Hill A. Rectus sheath and transversus abdominus plane blocks in children: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised trials. Pediatr Anesth 2016;26: 363-371

Current Projects

Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne

  • GAS Study: A multisite randomised controlled trial comparing regional and general anaesthesia for effects on neurodevelopmental outcome and apnoea in infants.
  • PIMS Study (Pediatric Intravenous Maintenance Solution): a RCT to compare two fluids for intravenous fluid maintenance in children
  • A randomised control trial comparing accuracy of two commercially available pharmacokinetic algorithms for total intravenous anaesthesia (TIVA) using Propofol in children aged 1-16 years
  • GECHO Study: Characterisation of gene-environment affecting congenital heart disease outcomes.
  • The Brain Wave Pattern Study: The topography of paediatric brain electrical activity during anaesthesia
  • A pilot study to determine the effect of volatile anaesthetics on visually-evoked hemodynamic responses in children using near-infrared spectroscopy.
  • A genome-wide association study on the genetics of anaesthetic awareness.

Princess Margaret Hospital Perth

  • Safer anaesthesia for children with asthma (SAFA trial): Can exhaled NO levels predict children at risk for respiratory complications? – a pilot study Evaluation of performance of cuffed and uncuffed endotracheal tubes in a paediatric population: A randomized controlled trial
  • Timing of laryngeal mask removal in children with a high risk for postoperative respiratory complications – awake or anaesthetised
  • Impact of topical lignocaine on the incidence of perioperative respiratory complications in children undergoing larnyngo-tracheo-bronchoscopies – a double blind randomised controlled pilot study
  • Randomised controlled trial: Respiratory complications in infants undergoing general anaesthesia with a laryngeal mask airway versus and endotracheal tube
  • Perpherally Inserted Central Catheters: Prospective Study of Complications and Parental/Child Satisfaction
  • Randomised Control Trial: Intravenous versus inhalational induction in infants and children (0-8 years) with a high risk for respiratory complications undergoing minor elective surgical procedures with laryngeal masks airways
  • Performance of two commonly used supraglottic devices in paediatric anaesthesia: laryngeal mask airways vs. I-Gel: A randomised controlled trial
  • A pilot study of the use of gabapentin to aid in the management of mucositis pain in children undergoing myeloablative chemotherapy
  • Anaesthesia and Neurodevelopmental study
  • Difficult Intubation Trolley survey
  • Manipulation under anaesthesia and lignocaine spray audits
  • Children’s attitude towards anaesthesia
  • Impact of salbutamol on respiratory mechanics in children with a recent upper respiratory tract infection undergoing anaesthesia
  • Impact of body mass index on respiratory function changes before and after induction of anaesthesia
  • Further prediction and prevention strategies for respiratory complications
  • GAS Study

Womens and Childrens Hospital Adelaide

Ethics of “placebo” local anaesthetic nerve blocks: (Dr Allan Cyna and Dr Cormac Fahy)

  • Description and validation of the SHAM scale.
  • Survey of parents: Would you consent to your child having a “placebo” nerve block?

Emergence delirium: (Dr David Costi)

  • Transition to propofol anaesthesia for the final three minutes as a strategy to reduce sevoflurance emergence delirium: a randomised controlled trial.
  • Cochrane systematic review: Sevoflurane versus other general anaesthesia on postoperative behaviour disturbance in children.

Craniofacial anaesthesia: (Dr David Costi)

  • Anaesthesia for children with Treacher Collins syndrome
  • Hyponatremia during major craniofacial surgery

Anaesthesia and analgesia for paediatric oncology patients: (Dr Laura Burgoyne)

  • Several projects based on 6 years of recent experience at St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Memphis, USA:
  • The safety of PCA by proxy including nurses as proxy for pain management in pediatric oncology: 2004 to 2010,
  • Neuropathic pain referrals to a multidisciplinary pediatric cancer pain service
  • Nerve sheath catheter analgesia for forequarter amputation in pediatric oncology patients
  • Prolonged peripheral nerve block in pediatric patients with pathologic fractures
  • A randomized controlled trial of the use of the Accuvein device for intravenous cannulation of anesthetized children.
  • Safety of general anesthesia in thrombocytopenic pediatric cancer patients undergoing invasive procedures.

Communication, consent, hypnosis in paediatric anaesthesia: (Dr Allan Cyna)

  • Consent for anaesthesia in paediatric patients: an observational study

Ultrasound assessment of gastric contents in paediatric emergency cases: (Dr Cormac Fahy)

Anaesthesia for children with William’s Syndrome: (Dr Cormac Fahy)

Cochrane systematic reviews: (Dr Allan Cyna)

  • Clonidine premedication for post-operative pain relief in children
  • Non-pharmacological interventions for assisting the induction of anaesthesia in children

Westmead Children’s Hospital Sydney

Anaesthesia outcomes

  • NIRS in the diagnosis of compartment syndrome: (Skowno/ Little/ Gibbons/ de Lima)
  • The metabolic effects of repeated exposure to N2O: (Chen/ Lovell/Baines/de Lima/Curtin/ Wilcken/Carpenter/Ahern)
  • Day stay surgery and the use of paracetamol- a QA cycle: (R Lees, /S Hale/J de Lima)

Regional techniques

  • A case controlled study of regional wound infusions vs epidural infusions. (Comparing analgesic effect of continuous wound and epidural infusions following laparotomy in paediatric patients): (W Fung/ A Shun)

Anaesthesia and medical illness

  • Gabapentin in the management of itch following burn injuries- an RCT: (Weatherall/Yung/de Lima/Sherrat/Miles)
  • Anaesthesia following bleomycin therapy- a retrospective review: (Duong/ McDonald/ de Lima/ Cooper)
  • Critical illness polyneuropathy in cardiac surgery patients: risk factors and disease mechanisms. A pilot study: (Moharir/ Gillis/ Baines /Winlaw/ Dale/ Coleet al)
  • Anaesthesia and merosin-deficient muscular dystrophy- a case series: (S Ross/T Scrivener/ Street/ Webster)
  • The effect of anaesthesia on pulmonary function in children with cystic fibrosis- a prospective observational study: (Pandit/ Valentin/Selvadurai/ Cooper/ Van Asperen et al)

Pain–related studies

  • Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy – experience at CHW: (C Barker, R Jayaweera, J de Lima, M-C Waugh)
  • Pain following amputation in children- retrospective review: (S Hale, N Haynes, N Hankin, J de Lima, L Tofts, J Collins)

Starship Children’s Health Auckland

  • Paediatric emergency transtracheal ventilation: (B Anderson, P Baker)