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Ravi Tripathi, MD

Award Name Davis/Bremer Pilot Awards

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Impact of Local Anesthetics After Cardiac Surgery

Ravi Tripathi, MD, received a pilot award from the Center for Clinical and Translational Science for his research investigating the impact of local anesthetics after cardiac surgery.

Tripathi is a physician and anesthesiologist with specialty training in critical care. His experiences taking care of patients after cardiac surgery influenced his research interests. Through talking with other colleagues who are working on similar projects, Tripathi developed his research project.

“We know that after a person has surgery there are cells that affect healing and inflammation in the external wound, and we are looking to see which cells are present after cardiac surgery,” Tripathi said. “We think that by using local anesthetic, we can decrease inflammation and improve pain control after cardiac surgery.”

Tripathi is working with Sashwati Roy, PhD and Hamdy Elsayed-Awad, MD on this research. Currently, they are at the preliminary stage of the study. The research team has been recruiting patients since January 2012 and will finish recruitment at the end of August 2012.

“One of the biggest challenges has been finding patients that meet our criteria for this study,” Tripathi said.

The study will involve patients who will have recently undergone cardiac surgery. At the end of the surgery, patients will have a small drain placed and they will randomly receive either local anesthetic or a saline solution.

“Then for three days afterward, we will collect their drain fluid and look at cell counts,” Tripathi said. “We are looking to see if the local anesthetic decreased inflammation in the drain fluid compared to the saline.”

After this study, the next step would be to look at whether continuous infusion of local anesthetic makes a difference compared to a single dose.

Tripathi hopes that his research will make local anesthetics a routine part of care and cardiac surgery in order to help decrease pain and improve wound healing in patients.

By Rachel Bergman, August 14, 2012

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