The recent research of Randall Flick, M.D., has centered on risk assessment for various aspects of pediatric anesthesia practice, including cardiac arrest, laryngospasm, malignant hyperthermia, aspiration and anesthetic toxicity. Dr. Flick's current primary area of research centers on the effects of anesthetic exposure on the developing brain.
- Anesthetic-related neurotoxicity in young children. Dr. Flick and a team of Mayo Clinic neurotoxicity researchers were the first to demonstrate an association between early childhood exposure to anesthetic agents and subsequent learning disability. In partnership with the National Center for Toxicological Research, the Mayo team is now engaged in a $3.5 million, five-year study to further define the relationship between anesthetics and learning.
- Risk associated with anesthesia in children. Dr. Flick and his colleagues use the extensive resources of Mayo Clinic's medical record and the surrounding community to define the risks of a variety of factors encountered during the care of children undergoing anesthetics for surgical and diagnostic procedures. These studies help providers and families to better understand how to evaluate and reduce risk.
Significance to patient care
Dr. Flick and the Mayo research team hope to shed light on what has become the most pressing issue in the field of anesthesiology. Anesthetic-related neurological injury as a cause of learning disability in children is of great concern to all those who care for children, federal agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration, and most of all to parents who must weigh the risks of anesthesia and surgery when making health decisions for their children.
- Chair, Anesthetics and Analgesic Drug Products Advisory Committee, Food and Drug Administration, 2012-present
- Director, Mayo Clinic Children's Center, 2014-present
- President-elect, Society for Pediatric Anesthesia, 2014-present