Since 2008, Pediatric Anesthesia and NeuroDevelopment Assessment (PANDA) Symposium on “Anesthesia and Neurodevelopment in Children” has been convened every other year in New York. The PANDA Symposia have been the forum for interdisciplinary interactions and served as an important gathering of all of those who are interested in the scientific, clinical and the public health, as well as the policy issues related to anesthetic neurotoxicity in the developing brain.

The Sixth PANDA was held in New York on April 14-15, 2018 at the Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of New York (MS-CHONY), Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC). The Sixth PANDA Symposium, co-sponsored by SmartTots and MS-CHONY, once again attracted a diverse group of participants from across the globe. Among the meeting attendees were basic science researchers who study anesthetic neurotoxicity with models using C. elegans, rodents and non-human primates. There were representatives from federal agencies (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development [NICHD] and Food and Drug Administration [FDA]), as well as attendees and presenters from academic institutions across the US (Boston, Pittsburgh, Iowa, Baltimore, Seattle, Philadelphia, Houston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and New York), Europe (Denmark, Italy, UK), and Canada. The different sessions of the PANDA Symposium included “ Report of the Outcomes Workshop September 2017”, “Lessons Learned: Neuroimaging Studies & Neurodevelopmental Outcomes Research”, “Outcomes Research in Vulnerable Pediatric Populations” and “Developmental Anesthetic Neurotoxicity Research 2018”. In addition, an entire Saturday afternoon was devoted to the session on “Engaging Stakeholders to Promote Safe Anesthesia/Sedation Care in Young Children”. This session consisted of two panels: “Engaging Stakeholders for Research” and “Anesthesia Exposure in Children During Surgical and Non-surgical Procedures”. The second session generated very enthusiastic audience participation, and stimulated plans for additional outreach to clinical providers as well as families and caretakers.

The Sixth PANDA Symposium was an excellent opportunity to tackle complex, multidisciplinary, real-world problems. Speakers shared their innovative work to advance research in this arena, with a view toward leveraging emerging trends such as the advent of “big data” to improve outcomes. The information learned and shared at the Symposium will lay the foundation to further research that will ensure safe and optimal anesthesia and sedation care in all children.