Hello Everyone!! My name is Gerald (Gerry) Cherayil and I will be heading up the Northern Virginia Region of the VSA!
I was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and did both my undergraduate and medical school in Milwaukee. After graduating from the Medical College of Wisconsin, I travelled to Boston to do my residency in anesthesiology and a fellowship in OB anesthesiology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Post fellowship, I travelled here to Virginia to practice predominantly OB Anesthesia for the past 20 years at INOVA Fairfax Hospital. We are a level one trauma center with over 10,000 deliveries/year. When I am not working, I love wine (Napa Cabernet), travel, spending time with my family, and the Green Bay Packers!!
OB Anesthesia is a very unique specialty among the many in anesthesiology. We not only have to think of the patient, but also of the baby, as well as the partner. There is no other area in the hospital where we allow someone to be screaming and think it is normal. It is very satisfying to be able to alleviate some of the worst pain that human beings must face.
Things do not change much in OB due to the inherent difficulties in doing good scientific trials. No one wants to put a baby’s life or health at risk. We have achieved a very safe, reproducible anesthetic technique that serves the vast majority of our patients.
While that technique did not change much, with the advent of COVID-19, the surroundings of the obstetric floor changed quite a bit. Now, masks are a mainstay not only on the labor and delivery floor, but across the hospital. Also, family members have been limited to only one support person.
Testing, while still a challenge, is much more prevalent now than in the past. We have dedicated COVID rooms that have everything covered, combined with plenty of PPE. Communication has become a bit more difficult; it is harder to hear others with masks on, especially with double masks or N95’s.
Despite these changes the OB floor has adapted. We actually are now in the midst of a mini baby boom, and our labor and delivery floor is up to the task. The entire staff, especially the labor and delivery nurses, have done a wonderful job of working hard and keeping everyone safe.
Here is a picture of them, along with me, on the floor. Here is to hoping that soon in 2021 we can get rid of all the masks and the precautions and get back to normal life! I look forward to the coming year