The research interests of William C. Oliver Jr., M.D., mostly involve areas of anesthesiology that affect coagulation and cardiac surgery. Dr. Oliver has over 30 years of experience in anesthesiology and has developed a particular interest in patient blood management practices. Specifically, he focuses on pediatric congenital heart surgery and management of adults and children in an intensive care unit. This experience has made clear the importance of establishing personalized patient blood management practices to ensure proper use of transfusion treatments to meet diverse patient needs.
- Data-driven clinical decision support. Dr. Oliver works to reduce unnecessary blood transfusions via data-driven clinical decision support. With Mark H. Ereth, M.D., and Gregory A. Nuttall, M.D., Dr. Oliver developed and implemented a comprehensive patient blood management program for cardiovascular surgical patients at Mayo Clinic and is now working to expand the project. The program involves comprehensive data analysis and technological tools to promote the use of objective criteria in blood transfusion decisions. It also includes intensive education and training modules designed to enhance clinician participation and bolster decision-making support systems.
- Red blood cell storage. Dr. Oliver recently served as a co-investigator on the Red Cell Storage Duration Study (RECESS), a trial investigating whether the length of time that red bloods cells are stored before transfusion significantly affects clinical outcome and mortality. The study was supported by New England Research Institutes in collaboration with the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
- Coagulation and anti-coagulation therapies. Dr. Oliver leads or contributes to a number of ongoing studies aimed at predicting and controlling coagulation in adults and children undergoing cardiac surgery.
Significance to patient care
The overall goal of Dr. Oliver's research is to develop systems and tools to help physicians make the best decisions about if and when to perform blood transfusions, and to ensure that when transfusions are performed, patients experience minimal risk and have the best possible outcomes.
- Section co-editor, Journal of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia, 2006-present
- Professional Achievement Award, Mayo Clinic Alumni Association, 2013