Friday 8 November

Anaesthesia in the 2020s – embracing change.  Ross Kennedy

The last decade has seen big changes in the way anaesthesia is administered in New Zealand. There has been widespread adoption of machines that automate vapour delivery and offer improved ventilation. Use of processed eeg monitors and qualitative neuromuscular blockade monitoring is increasing. At the same time TIVA is moving from a niche technique to the mainstream.  Where will we be in another 5 – 10 years? How do we take advantage of new equipment and techniques to offer the best to our patients? And how can you help.

Ross Kennedy is an anaesthetist at Christchurch Hospital. He just remembers halothane and the advent of pulse oximeters and propofol. He has always been a technophile and interested in understanding how stuff works. There are all sorts of ways of giving an excellent anaesthetic, none are wrong, but just doing things because that’s the way they’re done here isn’t an adequate reason. 

Why sustainability is about relationships . Geoff Andrews-Mabille


When you think about the enormous problem of environmental sustainability in healthcare, it’s easy to throw up our hands and give up. But, if we strive for honest, open and constructive relationships between industry and healthcare professionals we can eventually change the future for the next generation.

Geoff is a Sales Consultant with Obex Medical, with over a decade of experience in the Medical Device industry. He is passionate about driving change in the medical industry, and partnering with healthcare professionals to create more sustainable healthcare solutions and better patient outcomes. His other passions include spending time with family, competitive ocean swimming, and anything else that gets him outside into our incredible country.


Malignant Hyperthermia update. Karen Bennett


DNA testing and IVCT remain the only determination for this genetic disorder, however changes to the number of mutations identified and the potential changes to the muscle biopsy procedure may improve the impact this disorder places on patients.
Ryanodex and low concentration Dantrolene is discussed, as well as two case studies for this presentation.

Karen is the professional leader/educator of anaesthetic technicians at Palmerston North Hospital.   She started work as a trainee AT in 1990 and have held leadership/governance positions in her role as an anaesthetic technician for many years. She has an interest in Malignant Hyperthermia testing and treatment and support our lead SMO in sending out DNA testing kits around NZ.

Viscoelastic testing. Chris Finlay

This presentation will be about the two commonly utilised viscoelastic testing instruments, thromboelastography (TEG) and rotational thromboelastometry (ROTEM).

Chris will discuss the different instruments, what they are and how they work.  He will also look at how they can be used, in particular how some centres around the world are using them to manage transfusion and reduce blood product usage.

Chris is a Medical Laboratory Scientist trained at Massey University in Palmerston North with a background in Haematology and Microbiology. He has been working in Point-of-Care Testing (POCT) for the last 12 years, most of that was based at Auckland City Hospital and now more recently Christchurch Hospital. His experience in POCT has been predominantly in Haematology based systems used in theatres and ICUs.
In his spare time he has a strong interest in the outdoors and outdoor activities, including tramping, mountain biking and photography.

Better together: the five challenges for Allied Health. Hilary Exton

This presentation will outline the five challenges for the Allied Health sector, and highlight opportunities for collaborative working to improve allied health utilisation.

Hilary is currently the Acting Chief Allied Health Professions Officer at the Ministry of Health. Hilary’s substantive role is Director of Allied Health at Nelson Marlborough DHB which she has held since 2015. Hilary has a wealth of strategic and operational experience at a DHB level, as well as a strong national view in Allied Health, being the deputy chair of the National Directors Allied Health group and the chair of the South Island Directors of Allied health.


Paediatric Anaesthesia – what’s coming next?  Dr David Linscott



As we look to the future how do we best provide care for children? Where do our major gaps in knowledge lie and what are some of the current initiatives addressing these? How do we measure and improve the quality and safety of our care? Should the care of children be centralised, into paediatric sub-specialty centres, or will this just lead to de-skilling of the regional centres that still need to provide acute care and emergency services? In the wake of a rapidly increasing incidence of child and adolescent anxiety how should we effectively communicate and support children?

David works in Christchurch as a specialist anaesthetist. He has subspecialty training in paediatric anaesthesia. He is an executive member of the Society for Paediatric Anaesthesia of New Zealand and Australia (SPANZA) and has been a contributing author to ANZCA’s PS29: “Guideline for the Provision of Anaesthesia Care to Children” which has been released in August 2019.

GENETIC EDITING.  ‘The Real Deal’!  Andy Owen


Can genetic editing lead us into a future free from disease and genetically improved or will it descend into a dystopian future of those who can afford it and those who cant?

Andy landed in Christchurch 14 years ago escaping The Good Old United Kingdom! Happily settling into life on the South Island of New Zealand even the shaking earth and broken city couldn’t push him away from this beautiful part of the world. Now with 28 years of service to the healthcare industry , Andy’s main areas of interest have become Cardiac Surgery and Healthcare Simulation. 




Digital and Connected Healthcare. Stella Ward

Discover how the power of integrated people, systems and technologies can deliver care that is safe, effective, efficient and enhances the patient experience.

Stella is the inaugural Chief Digital Officer for the Canterbury DHB and the West Coast DHB. This role provides strategic leadership and governance to ensure current and future technology contributes to the transalpine vision of an integrated health system – “One System, One Budget”.  Stella also has a number of Executive Portfolios that include the Christchurch Health Precinct and Health Innovation (Via Innovations Executive Director). She is also a member of the New Zealand Health Innovation Hub. The overarching purpose behind these areas of innovation is to accelerate smart ideas, products and services to improve health outcomes.
Stella is the commercial relationship manager for the Strategic Partnerships with Orion Health; Hewlett Packard and GE Healthcare. She is also a member of the Hewlett Packard Enterprise Global Advisory Board. Stella believes it is essential in health leadership to have a global view and is always delighted to have the opportunity to meet with and share learning with, health and related industry leaders all over the world.
Stella trained as a speech language therapist and has worked in the public health system, private practice, education and welfare.  She has held executive leadership roles in a number of DHBs.

Blood who needs it anyways. Will Morrish

Has anything changed in the last 300 years relating to blood use in medical science?  We administer blood often without a second thought to the achievements that led to thisprocess.  This presentation takes an eclectic look at a medicine that is often taken for granted.

Will is a Registered Anaesthetic Technician and RN with over 25 years’ experience.  He has worked in public and private theatres as well as the New Zealand Blood service.  This will be his first presentation, some might say a little overdue.     

Saturday 9 November

15032019 – Working in a mass trauma situation. Doug Williams

Although we have trained and in many hospitals work in trauma situations, dealing with mass casualty situations can be challenging on both staff and equipment required. This talk will cover how we managed  the 15th of March Terrorist attack, including theatre and equipment resources needed and how the acute patient workload was managed. I will cover how staff were managed, use of equipment, where went well and areas we might improve on. I will also touch on the days/weeks following the attack.

Doug is an Anaesthetic Technician Team Leader employed by the Canterbury District Health Board. He previously worked in Auckland as both an Anaesthetic Technician and  for the New Zealand Defence Force as a Senior Medic. He has a special interest in equipment, (especially Anaesthetic Machines) and research. In his spare time he entertains his two children and work on a block of land just out of Amberley town ship in North Canterbury.


The Future of Cell Salvage.  Andy Smith

The CDHB Cell Salvage Service is well established in Christchurch.   Our service faces a number of challenges both at present and looking forward into the future.  Some of our local issues may be reflective of cell salvage in general, as it’s long term future maybe uncertain.

Andrew is an Anaesthetic Technician at Canterbury DHB and have been for over 20 years.  I have had an interest in Cell Salvage and as part of my portfolio I oversee our Cell Salvage Service.  I also take care of Paediatrics and Rostering/Scheduling.


I beg your pardon: Noise in the OT.  Kirk Fleming


Operating theatres can be loud environments for prolonged periods of time. How does this high volume affect theatre staff, and our patients. What are the main sources of noise in operating theatres and should we be doing something about it?

Kirk was born and raised in Christchurch and was trained here as well after previously studying neuroscience for 4 years where he had a focus on auditory neuroscience and neuropharmacologist. He has been a tech for 6 years now with a particular interest in neurosurgery. 



What has science fiction ever done for us. Richard Pattenden


A view of past science fiction film and literature that involved medical practices and equipment that changed medicine today.

Richard has worked at Christchurch hospital since 2007 and currently working on the cardiac roster.  Since being in Christchurch he has had an interaction with a train which resulted in a broken arm and found a dead body whilst out running.


Are the ABs Finished?
Simon Donald

This presentation will look briefly at the history of antibiotics and the development of resistance.
The golden age of treating infectious diseases is probably over, so where will medicine turn now.
We will look at the alternatives.  Some more esoteric than others.  From implanting chips in an infected wound to phage therapy.
It’s unlikely with the progress being made with the alternatives, that we will reach the levels of protection we are afforded by antibiotics.  Which would mean as it did before Fleming, that a simple cut could possibly kill you.
Sobering indeed.

Simon trained as an ODA in the very early eighties, before immigrating to New Zealand in 1998.  Worked initially at Green Lane Hospital, before becoming the Charge Technician at Auckland Public Hospital.  Simon now is a part time Anaesthetic Technician and Resuscitation Educator at North Shore Hospital.  His interests include, golf, wine, coffee and electronic dance music.

Registration, Recertification and Professional Standards.  Margaret Steel BSc


The Medical Sciences Council of New Zealand is charged with protecting and promoting the health of New Zealanders ensuring medical laboratory science practitioners and anaesthetic technicians are competent and fit to practise under the HPCA Act 2003. This presentation provides an overview of registrations received, APCs issued, notifications and ongoing professional development for 2018-19 year.

Margaret is Registrar for two of the New Zealand health regulatory authorities – the Medical Sciences Council and the Medical Radiation Technologists Board.  Margaret has extensive senior management experience within the regulatory sector and has an in-depth knowledge of the application of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 in respect to health practitioners. Prior to her current role with the Board and Council, she was the Regulatory Services Manager for the Real Estate Authority.

Sunday 10 November

Military Medicine – Lessons Learned. Charlie Richards

Trauma care in the military has driven civilian practice to date. Using recent conflicts as an example, this presentation will explore the factors that underpin management and treatment of survivable injuries.

Charlie is an anaesthetist at Christchurch Hospital. Prior to anaesthetic training, Charlie was a full-time Regimental Medical Officer in the Australian Army. He enjoys skiing, brewing beer, and most outdoor pursuits, however his two small children have different plans for his time.



Protected Pause.  Rachel McGregor & Lisa Depree

This presentation is around introducing a practice change to our PACU, and it covers the background of our handover process and how we went about implementing  change in this area. The difficulties that we encountered, prior practice and how our practice looks now.

Rachel and Lisa, senior PACU nurses Extraordinaire ….
Both nurses have a wide variety of experience and expertise working in PACU for the Canterbury District Health Board, based at Christchurch Hospital.  Their PACU is a multi-site tertiary level unit, comprising 3 sites (about to be 4) and 4 alternative care sites. 


Mission impossible in Thai Luang Cave – Real World Anesthesia .  Lorna Leonard



The successful rescue mission of 13 Lost in Thai cave which was the most risky and complex rescue operation the world has ever seen while broadcasted by international News media.  Viewed from one of the rescuers – Harry Harris, Australian anaesthetist.

Lorna Leonard, Clinical Nurse Specialist of Urology, Operating Theatre, Christchurch Hospital


Let’s change for quality sake!  Veronica Gin

Quality and safety is an ever important issue in healthcare.  We’ve been trying to address this issue for the last two decades but have peaked or have we done enough?  Our knowledge is growing about why things adverse events occur in our systems and this will help shape the future of how we deliver healthcare better.  This talk will explore some of new concepts that help us understand why things happen the way that they do in healthcare, what the changes are happening and what we might expect in the future to improve the quality of care.

Veronica is a consultant anaesthetist at Christchurch Public Hospital and has clinical interests in anaesthesia for otolaryngology, neuroanaesthesia and is the current Chair of the Neuroanaesthesia Special Interest Group for ANZCA.  She has a non-clinical interest in quality and safety, crisis management and is currently completing a Masters of Health Quality and Safety through the University of Auckland. 

Product Development 101.  Craig White

A window into the world of medical device design.  With a mix of cool technology, big boys toys, customer empathy and a deep understanding of the problem, engineers work to create elegant solutions, change clinical practice and improve patient care and outcomes.  The presentation will range from premature babies to Optiflow THRIVE use in anaesthetic applications, including the fluid dynamics of the air inside your nose, and how that changes when you stop breathing.


Craig is a Senior Product Development Manager at Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, which means he is a product development expert within a team spending $100m p/a on Research & Development of medical devices in New Zealand.  A team improving patient care & outcomes for 13m patients around the world.  Craig has won the supreme award for Product Design in NZ, holds dozens of patents and has developed Optiflow (Nasal High Flow) into a therapy which is changing the way oxygen is delivered throughout the hospital.  He enjoys loads of outdoors activities and tries to pack in as many family adventures as possible.


Sustainability in Anaesthesia – Keep changing, keep improving.  Charlotte Adamson


Our actions in theatre have a direct effect on the environment. We are constantly reviewing and improving the way we care for our patients to make ourselves a more sustainable profession. How can we reduce the impact of our work on the world around us?

Charlotte is an Anaesthetic Registrar at Christchurch Hospital. She has recently been involved in a citywide audit of Propofol usage and waste. She is interested in researching the impact of decisions we make while trying to do the right thing.