The Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care is committed to responsible and scientific patient care by adhering to known scientific principles and continuing research. The department places a high premium on the development of critical judgement in under- and postgraduate students.
The department is intensly involved with the total operating room activity and perioperative patient care at Tygerberg Hospital, in all surgical disciplines. Furthermore the department has a well-established trackrecord in Surgical Intensive Care at Tygerberg Hospital, as well as in the formal academic programme and research in Critical Care.
The programme for undergraduate medical students, as set out in the MB, ChB curriculum, includes lectures to the MBChB IV students as well as clinical rotation during MBChB V. The latter comprises rotation through the skills laboratory, recovery room, intensive care and operating rooms. The total undergraduate exposure is 6 weeks.
Post-graduate academic training is done in the clinical environment but formalised academic meetings are held for junior registrars on Monday afternoons (Physiology, Physics and Pharmacology), and senior registrars have seminars on Friday afternoons under the guidance of a consultant. On Wednesday afternoons the department has a formal academic meeting.
MMed students, as required by the University, must complete a thesis and a number of topics have been thus researched and published.
At a higher postgraduate level, the department has a unique record of completed doctorates. Special areas of research include the following:
Stem cell implantation
Adult respiratory distress syndrome
Acute pulmonary hypertension and right ventricular function
One lung anesthesia
Total intravenous drug administration
Gas flow kinetics
The department has an own laboratory where large animal experimentation is done. The Wellcome Trust has, in the recent past, donated R750,000 in new apparatus which allows this laboratory to do state of the art research in cardiac and lung function.
The special combination of clinical research, big animal laboratory research and the option to do small animal research, allows the department to participate in the scientific development of anesthesiology and critical care.