Our Department

18 full-time anaesthetists, three part-time anaesthetists, 27 visiting anaesthetists, 15 registrars in training and 3 support staff, currently staff the Department of Anaesthesia and Pain Management.  We provide anaesthesia services for all elective and emergency surgery at University Hospital Geelong, averaging 17,000 procedures per year. We provide anaesthesia for the following specialties: Cardiac & thoracic surgery (including TOE), Obstetrics & gynaecology, including ~ 500 caesarean sections per year, Paediatric surgery ~ 1500 procedures per year, Orthopaedics, Plastic surgery, General surgery and endoscopy, Vascular surgery, ENT and Maxillo-facial surgery,  Urology, Ophthalmology.

We perform approximately 10,000 general anaesthetics, 3,500 regional anaesthetics, 600 combined GA/Regional anaesthetics and 3500 sedations per year. The recent introduction of ultrasound guidance for regional blockade has seen a significant increase in the number of regional blocks performed.  We provide anaesthesia for 11 operating theatres, as well as delivery suite, radiology and cardiology. We also provide a support service for medical emergencies on the wards and the emergency department, including involvement in trauma calls and airway management in EMD and ICU.  As well as anaesthesia services, the department also manages the acute and chronic pain services, and the peri-operative unit, including cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPX/CPET) for pre-operative assessment of patients.  


Research Focus

Research is an essential part of healthcare development. The Department of Anaesthesia, Perioperative Medicine and Pain Management Research Unit has collaborated with local and global organisations that share an ongoing interest in healthcare quality and safety, performance monitoring and aspects of medical ethics to ensure patients receive the most appropriate care and have the best possible outcomes before, during and after surgery. There are a number of clinical trials offered to patients of University Hospital Geelong with two new exciting trials offered to patients in 2018. Please have a look at our Clinical trials tab (top of page) and Publications for the latest trial information.

Areas of clinical research currently being undertaken include:

  • The link between pre-operative cognitive impairment, frailty, post-operative outcomes and healthcare      utilisation.

  • Predictors of post operative cognitive dysfunction (POCD)

  • Therapeutic interventions to reduce the incidence of POCD

  • The association between anti-emetics and impaired bowel function after colorectal surgery

  • Thromboembolic complications associated with antifibrinolytic therapy in trauma surgery

  • Regional anaesthesia for rib fractures

  • Analgesia administration following caesarean section

  • Iron transfusion and anaemia in cardiac surgery

  • The association between perioperative steroids, wound healing and diabetes

  • Paediatric fasting and dehydration

  • Restrictive transfusion practices in cardiac surgery

  • Ketamine for the prevention of chronic post-surgical pain



From one of our trial participants "This experience has allowed me to give back, what a professional and caring team".

Major Achievements

Highlights from the last 12 months

• The commencement of two new clinical trials (1) IIV Iron for Treatment of Anaemia before Cardiac Surgery (ITACS trial) and (2) the Reduction Of Chronic post-surgical pain with Ketamine (ROCKet trial.)

• Grand Round Presentations at multiple hospitals in Britain and Ireland


• The research unit continues to grow, attracting postdoctoral research fellows and increasing its supervisory capacity to include students pursuing their doctoral degrees.


• Recruitment into the BALANCED and RELIEF multicentre clinical trials are nearing completion, with a significant proportion of participants coming from Barwon Health.


• The PADDI and TRICS multicentre clinical trials have commenced recruitment.


• The locally led PANACEA trial, funded cooperatively by an NHMRC CRC grant, a Barwon Health scholarship grant, and Department of Anaesthesia research funds, has reached the half way point for participant recruitment, with preliminary results presented at international meetings.

• Clinical audit activity has revealed excellent local perioperative outcomes, specifically addressing areas such as post-operative delirium, nausea and pain management, along with major morbidity and mortality rates comparable to established centres of excellence. Results of audit activity continue to inform clinical practice and guidelines, with demonstrable improvements in transfusion practice and perioperative fluid management.


• Our senior research coordinator is to be awarded a Masters degree.


• We have made a record number of contributions to the Barwon Health Research Week activities.


• We organised our first clinical conference with excellent feedback from participants.

Looking Forward 

Anticipated Highlights in the next 12 months


• Invited presentations to Association of Paediatric Anaesthetists of Great Britain & Ireland, Irish Association of Anaesthetists and the Quality Symposium at Colchester & Ipswich Hospitals


• Commence recruitment for the multicentre ITACS cardiac surgery trial, along with two new investigatorinitiated randomised clinical trials. This will bring the number of active trials being conducted by the unit to eight, with over 500 participants expected to be recruited in the 2016 and 2017 calendar years.


• We anticipate the graduation of our first PhD candidate, who is also due to represent both Deakin University and Barwon Health at the upcoming 2017 Nobel laureates meeting.


• We anticipate that a second research coordinator will complete her Masters degree.


• We will continue to contribute to research capacity generation at Barwon Health via collaborations with the Deakin IMPACT SRC and the formation of a Surgical and Critical Care Research Directorate.

Copyright © 2017 Department of Anaesthesia, Perioperative Medicine & Pain Management Research |  University Hospital Geelong