Welcome to the official site for the Pediatric Anesthesia & Neurodevelopment Assessment (PANDA) project. PANDA project is a large, multi-center study based at the Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of New York at Columbia University. The project aims to examine two groups of children - those who have been exposed to anesthesia and those who have not – and assess their neurodevelopment and cognitive functions. The goal of the PANDA project is to add to the body of knowledge surrounding the important topic of the long term neurodevelopmental effects of anesthesia and surgery in infants and young children. Currently, the other sites participating in the study are Boston Children’s (Harvard University), Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (University of Pennsylvania), Chicago Children’s Memorial (Northwestern University), Cincinnati Children’s Hospital (University of Cincinnati College of Medicine), Pittsburgh Children's Hospital (University of Pittsburgh), Mott Children’s Hospital (University of Michigan) and Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital (Vanderbilt University). These hospitals were selected for their clinical expertise and excellence in pediatric research.

Taking part in the PANDA project in New York involves one visit to the Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) campus in the Washington Heights community of northern Manhattan. Participants are asked to spend approximately two hours at CUMC, and no long-term follow up is necessary. Similar arrangements will be developed for participants of the study at other study sites. Visits to the medical center are scheduled at the convenience of the family and can be held on weekends or evenings. Each family will receive $150 for travel expenses, and children receive a small gift for their participation. It is necessary for at least one parent to accompany children on the day of testing.

Testing is similar to children’s school activities, including answering questions and solving puzzles. Most children find the experience to be engaging and non-stressful. While children are being evaluated in a separate room, parents are asked to complete a questionnaire regarding their children’s medical information and behavior.

The safety and comfort of study participants is of primary concern, and all children will be evaluated by trained nurses and physicians with significant experience in pediatric research. The team of professionals involved in the PANDA project has a great commitment to advancing knowledge and quality of care in the field of pediatrics. Furthermore, study participants and their parents can be assured that by their participation, they are contributing to the improvement of medical care for children. Since the testing is a part of a research protocol, it would be inappropriate to use these results for evaluation or diagnosis. All study participants are required to provide the contact information for a pediatrician/family physician should any follow up deemed appropriate.