Arthur Wallace, MD, PhD
Chief, Anesthesiology Service, SFVAMC
Professor of Anesthesia and Perioperative Medicine, UCSF
Reducing Risks of Surgery
Patients with a history of coronary artery disease, peripheral vascular disease, or risk factors including hypertension, smoking, diabetes, elevated cholesterol, or age greater than 65 have a substantially increased risk of heart attack and death when they have major surgery. Dr. Wallace demonstrated that the use of a beta blocker reduces the risk of death around the time of an operation by 50 to 90 percent, at a cost of less than $1 per patient and less than $33 per life saved. Dr. Wallace then demonstrated that clonidine, a generic drug used to treat hypertension, also reduced the risk of death associated with surgery, potentially helping patients with risk factors associated with use of beta blockers. The use of beta blockade around the time of surgery has not only reduced operative risk, but has changed the approach of cardiology to the surgical patient and dramatically reduced operative costs. Perioperative beta blockade protocol has been adopted by the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology for patients with coronary artery disease or peripheral vascular disease. Dr. Wallace created a two-hour online course for medical practitioners entitled "Beta Blocker and Clonidine Protocol," available at http://www.betablockerprotocol.com/. The course is free and can be taken for continuing medical education credit.
Dr Wallace has also worked extensively on medical device and software design. He designed and developed the ECOM (Endotracheal Cardiac Output Monitor), the AVD (Electronic Sedation System), and Pre-Procedural Checklist Tool. Each of these projects is designed to reduce perioperative risk, morbidity, and mortality.
To see Dr. Wallace on Pub Med, click here.