How You’re Helping the Riley Anesthesia Team


June 4, 2020
Topics: Donors, About Us



Operating Room Full-Size 06.04.2020

When parents send a child into an operating room, they place an incredible level of trust in the surgical team especially surgeons and anesthesiologists. Today, we want to share one way donor funding is making a difference for kids.

Take a look at a few facts about the Riley Pediatric Anesthesia team:

21,000 children served annually

More than 50 anesthesia physicians, anesthetists, nurse practitioners and research nurses

Largest anesthesia service in Indiana for pediatric cardiovascular surgery, neurosurgery, transplant surgery, and pediatric acute and chronic pain management

On the front lines doing high-risk airway intubations, placing lines including in adults during the coronavirus crisis

Donor and federal funding has helped the Riley anesthesia team to become a national leader in the delivery of anesthesia and pain management. Riley's team is working to reduce the opioid epidemic in Indiana and has become a leading research innovator.

Riley Hospital for Children and the IU School of Medicine actively recruited a new Pediatric Anesthesiologist-Researcher, Senthil Sadhasivam, M.D., in 2017, as the Vice-Chair of Research for the Department of Anesthesia. One of the goals of the recruitment was to develop a research program within pediatric anesthesia. Dr. Sadhasivam has been awarded several major research grants from the National Institutes of Health, including one focused on reducing use of opioids in children undergoing surgery and women during pregnancy. He has also published more than 150 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters. 

Donor funding is also helping Riley expand the workforce through the development of a pediatric anesthesia extender program, which includes Anesthesiologist Assistants and Certified Nurse Anesthetists. Child Life Specialists, who work with anesthesiologists closely at the time of surgery, help reduce fear and anxiety of children at the time of surgery, and make children comfortable going off to sleep. Donor funding has enabled Child Life services at Riley. 

All of this growth means children at Riley have the best of the best when it comes to anesthesia care, during surgery and recovery. That means kids can go home sooner, and with better pain relief and less risk for opioid side effects. “With our enhanced recovery after surgery program and minimal use of opioids, children undergoing major spinal fusions at Riley have some of the best post-operative pain control and shortest hospital stays in the country,” said Dr. Sadhasivam. He is working on disseminating Riley’s refined pain management protocol to other pediatric hospitals in the country through an innovative National Institutes of Health funding program.

Thank you for helping Riley reach even higher to improve care for children. We appreciate your support!


Riley Blogger

The Riley Blog is written and/or edited by members of the Riley Children's Foundation Communications Staff.


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