A Day of Cardiac Anesthesia

Cardiac Anesthesia at UVA

rotation description provided by Ed Gillig, Class of 2022

Our cardiac anesthesia rotation here at UVA is one of our most challenging and rewarding rotations we do as residents. We have a busy cardiac surgery service and no cardiac anesthesia fellows meaning we do all cases from start to finish -from a simple 2 vessel CABG to a heart transplant. Our exposure to cardiac anesthesia starts as early as our CA-1 year for those residents in the categorical track and early in the CA-2 year for those in the advanced track. The days start early – typically around 530 am – in order to get the room set up for the first cases of the day (which start at 7 am).

Most patients will get a pre-induction arterial line and after you have gotten them off to sleep, a central line, a PA catheter and a TEE. Once the surgery finishes you’ll transport your patient to the cardiac surgery ICU. It can feel a little frantic getting the cases started initially as there is a lot to learn but these cases provide an excellent opportunity for real time learning with respect to procedural skills, cardiovascular pathophysiology, fluid resuscitation, anesthetic management of a critically ill patient and using a wealth of information to guide clinical decision making on a minute to minute basis. It’s a busy month but one that changes your perspective as a resident – all of the sudden sick patients and complex cases aren’t nearly as intimidating as they once were. We also have a wonderful team of cardiac attendings to work with who are enthusiastic about resident education and do a wonderful job helping you to get the most out of your cardiac rotation. I consider this rotation one of the strongest aspects of our clinical training here at UVA!

updated 2020