PhD defence F. (Frank) Weber

Primum Non Nocere: A heuristic approach to defining risks and improving safety in paediatric anaesthesia
Prof. dr. R.J. Stolker
Prof. dr. R.M.H. Wijnen
Tuesday 21 Mar 2023, 15:30 - 17:00
PhD defence
Professor Andries Querido room
Education Center
Erasmus MC
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F, Weber will defend his PhD dissertation on Tuesday 21 March 2023, entitled: ’Primum Non Nocere: A heuristic approach to defining risks and improving safety in paediatric anaesthesia‘.


After almost two decades of concerns about the safety of anaesthetics, there is ample evidence that they are not necessarily harmful to the brains of young children. While these findings are reassuring in principle, we are now more aware than ever of the risks and challenges of anaesthesia in children. Future scientific efforts will focus on optimising existing anaesthetic concepts and developing new techniques. 

Monitoring and controlling blood circulation in children under anaesthesia are at a crossroads. The days when blood circulation was assessed solely based on blood pressure are a thing of the past in modern paediatric anaesthesiology. New technologies have entered the clinical routine and are increasingly found in the protocols of leading children's hospitals. 

The effects of analgesics in children under anaesthesia can be monitored by analysing heart rate variability. Using this technology, we can develop optimised treatment concepts aimed at avoiding insufficient pain control on the one hand and unnecessary administration of analgesics on the other. 

Newborns requiring surgery under anaesthesia are our most vulnerable patient group. They need a true expert in paediatric anesthesiology and particular attention to brain oxygenation and stress avoidance. Adequate pain relief is also essential and contributes significantly to a good recovery. More safety for the patient also means more safety for the whole team involved, as the risk of a serious complication leading to a "second-victim" phenomenon is reduced.

More information

The public defence will begin exactly at 10.30 hrs. The doors will be closed once the public defence starts, latecomers can access the hall via the fourth floor. Due to the solemn nature of the ceremony, we recommend that you do not take children under the age of 6 to the first part of the ceremony.

A live stream link has been provided to the candidate.

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