Dr. Bistra Vlassakova
Dr. Vlassakova graduated at Varna Medical University in 1993. Right after that she left to the USA where after recognition of her diploma she specialized anesthesiology. In 2002-2003 she specializes pediatric anesthesia in Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. She is a graduate of the American Board of Anesthesiology and has a recognized specialty of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care in Bulgaria.
Since 2006 she has been working as a pediatric anesthesiologist in Boston Children’s Hospital. Her clinical practice includes training of anesthesiology post-graduates and anesthesiologists who specialize in pediatric anesthesiology. She is director of a pediatric simulator program and co-director of recertification and simulation program.
She manages an innovative program for perioperative preparation of autistic patients. This is a multi-profile program which involves anesthesiologists, nurses and specialists from the pre-operative clinic and post-anesthesia recovery room. The purpose of the program is to prepare not only the perioperative team, but also the patient and his family for the intervention, hospital stay and all other elements of the perioperative period. This program is to become an integral part of the initiative Autism Friendly Hospital.
Currently Dr. Vlassakova is working on two research projects connected to children with autism. One research is directed towards the parents of children with ASDs nationwide regarding the problems these children might have in connection to performed anesthesia. The second one is a retrospective research of all the patients with a diagnosis from the autistic spectrum who had surgical interventions with a general anesthesia in Boston Children’s Hospital in the period 2007-2012. The aim of the research is to look for association between the type of anesthesia and the manifestation of behavioral regression in the post-operative period in these patients.
This professional interest of Dr. Vlassakova brought her to Karin Dom where the idea was formed for a conference on the topic of autism as a first step to set up a program for early diagnostics and multi-profile intervention for children with ASDs thus helping their integration into society.