In the News
UCLA CRNAs and Surgery Center Faculty and Staff Dedicated to Operation MendOctober 25th, 2010
UCLA’s Operation Mend program was established in 2007 to provide reconstructive plastic surgery for military personnel wounded in the Iraq and Afghanistan military operations. This program is collaborative with Brooks Medical Center in Texas and the UCLA Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Department. As the principal nurse anesthetist at UCLA, Debbie Dach, CRNA, MS, has coordinated the anesthesia care for this select group of patients with a team of nurse anesthetists, anesthesia faculty, recovery nurses, and support staff at the UCLA Medical Plaza Ambulatory Surgery Center. Working closely with Dr. Timothy Miller, Operation Mend’s lead surgeon and Patti Taylor, nursing educator and advocate for these servicemen, the team has dedicated themselves to providing for the anesthetic needs of this select group of patients.
Operation Mend patients have all experienced multi-symptom disorders since their initial injuries. Most have greater than 50% burns on their faces, arms and legs which have left painful physical and emotional scarring. Explosions and fire may have caused inhalation injuries and head trauma, creating chronic health problems. The emotional impact of war, loss and chronic pain is exacerbated by the need to undergo multiple surgical procedures. For all of these reasons, this group of patients benefits greatly from continuity in health care providers.
Using the FOCUS-PDCA quality improvement tool, a plan of care template was created, to assist anesthesia providers and postoperative nurses ensure treatment consistency and continuity of care over multiple procedures for these patients. The care plan addresses poor IV access, airway problems, chronic pain management, temperature control, positioning, and issues related to post traumatic stress syndrome (PTSS). Communication between the team members is crucial to plan for each procedure and reduce possible adverse physical or emotional outcomes. Patients and their care givers are interviewed regularly to assess results and make changes in the individualized care plan for each patient. Information about the anesthetic plans are kept by the principal anesthetist who is a resource to all members of the healthcare team.
The patients of Operation Mend have sacrificed and suffered in their military service for their country. It is an emotional and rewarding experience to provide care and support to these wounded servicemen. Each surgery brings all of us closer to our common goals of improved facial mobility, appearance and self-esteem. If we can provide continuity and comfort during the many surgical procedures these patients must endure, then we will have made an important contribution to this worthy cause.
For more information on Operation Mend, please visit www.operationmend.ucla.edu
Debbie Dach, CRNA, MS, Principal Nurse Anesthetist
Read more news...