Charles A. Vacchiano, PhD, CRNA, FAAN
Dr. Vacchiano joined the faculty at the School of Nursing in 2008. He earned a BSN at Wright State University (OH) in 1979, a Bachelor of Science in Anesthesia from George Washington University in 1984, and a PhD in Physiology from the Medical University of South Carolina in 1995. He spent 26 years in the U.S. Navy as a practicing nurse anesthetist, educator, and researcher. During this time, he provided anesthesia care at stateside and overseas hospitals and aboard naval combat vessels, taught and performed clinical research in the Navy Nurse Corps Anesthesia Program, and was the Director of Biomedical Sciences Division at the Naval Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory.
Following his retirement from the U.S. Navy, Dr. Vacchiano became Director of the Gooding Institute, Bay Medical Center Nurse Anesthesia Program. He has published in multiple journals (including American Journal of Physiology, Cardiovascular Research, Shock, and the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists Journal, and serves as a reviewer for several agencies and journals. He has been elected President of the Board of Directors for the National Board for Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA), and is a member of the NBCRNA task force developing recommendations for new CRNA recertification requirements. Dr. Vacchiano is the author of a chapter on regional anesthesia in the only anesthesia textbook written by nurse anesthetists. He was named the American Association of Nurse Anesthetist Researcher of the Year in 2007.
Dr. Vacchiano's research has been funded by several government and private agencies. His research interests include extremes of oxygen exposure in cell, animal and human models, and clinical studies in anesthesia and critical care.
Academic Program Affiliations
- Master of Science in Nursing Program
- Doctor of Nursing Practice Program
- PhD in Nursing Program
- PhD - Medical University of South Carolina
- BS Anesthesia - George Washington University
- BSN - Wright State University
Dr. Vacchiano's research interests include hypoxia, hyperoxia, pulmonary physiology, diving and aviation physiology, clinical anesthesia practice, and critical care. He holds a U.S. patent for a reduced-oxygen breathing device. In 2007, he received an Excellence in Technology Transfer Award from the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer for a compact, portable reduced oxygen breathing device that he developed for for aviation hypoxia training.
In his current research, Dr. Vacchiano is investigating the effects of changes in blood pressure on measures of cerebral blood flow velocity and cerebral oxygenation in patients undergoing sitting shoulder surgery, in order to determine whether these measures may be useful surrogates for estimating the effects of altered systemic blood pressure on cerebral blood flow during surgery.
Awards and Honors
- 2013 || Faye G. Abdellah Lecturer, Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences Research Day
- 2010 || Outstanding Faculty Member Award, Duke University School of Nursing
- 2007 || Researcher of the Year Award, American Association of Nurse Anesthetists
- 2007 || Excellence in Technology Transfer Award, Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer
- 2006 || Meritorious Service Medal, U.S. Navy
- 2003 || Inducted, Sigma Theta Tau International
- 2001 || Mary Hanna Memorial Journalism Award, American Society of PeriAnesthesia Nurses Meeting
- 1999 || American Association of Nurse Anesthetists Foundation Distinguished Research Scholar Award, AANA Annual Faculty Meeting
- 1994 || Young Investigator Award, International Shock Society
- 1993 || Medical University of South Carolina Student Research Day
- 1992 || Kuwait Liberation Medal, Military Award (Saudi Arabia)
- 1992 || Combat Action Ribbon; Meritorious Unit Commendation; Southwest Asia Service Medal, U.S. Navy
- 1992 || Kuwaiti Liberation Medal, Military Award, Kuwait
- 1989 || Clinical Instructor of the Year, Anesthesia for Nurses Program, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC
- 1989 || Humanitarian Service Medal, U.S. Navy
- 1987 || Navy Achievement Medal; Overseas Service Ribbon, U.S. Navy
- 1986 || Navy Unit Commendation; Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, U.S. Navy
- 1980 || National Defense Service Medal, U.S. Navy
Areas of Interest
- 2009 -- PubMed # : 19522365 -- Artino Jr, A. R. and Folga, R. V. and Vacchiano, C. Normobaric hypoxia training: the effects of breathing-gas flow rate on symptoms. Aviat Space Environ Med. June, 2009 80(6); 547-52.
- 2009 -- Burkhard, J. and Vacchiano, C. A. Regional anesthesia: Upper and lower extremity blocks (Chapter 46). 2009 .
- 2005 -- Burkhard, J. and Olsen, R. L. and Vacchiano, C. A. Regional anesthesia (Chapter 42). 2005 .
- 2008 -- PubMed # : 18717113 -- Vacchiano, C. and Moore, J. and Rice, G. M. and Crawley, G. Fexofenadine effects on cognitive performance in aviators at ground level and simulated altitude. Aviat Space Environ Med. August, 2008 79(8); 754-60.
- 2004 -- PubMed # : 15098518 -- English, L. A. and Holmes, J. M. and Burkard, J. F. and Vacchiano, C. A. and Shin, A. and Pellegrini, J. and Maye, J. P. Effect of needle size on success of transarterial axillary block. AANA J. February, 2004 72(1); 57-60.
- 2003 -- PubMed # : 12847946 -- Coolong, K. J. and McGough, E. and Vacchiano, C. and Pellegrini, J. E. Comparison of the effects of propofol versus thiopental induction on postoperative outcomes following surgical procedures longer than 2 hours. AANA J. 2003 71(3); 215-22.
- 2003 -- PubMed # : 12776641 -- Winston, A. W. and Rinehart, R. S. and Riley, G. P. and Vacchiano, C. A. and Pellegrini, J. E. Comparison of inhaled isopropyl alcohol and intravenous ondansetron for treatment of postoperative nausea. AANA J. April, 2003 71(2); 127-32.
- 2003 -- PubMed # : 12546299 -- Rice, G. M. and Vacchiano, C. A. and Moore Jr., J. L. and Anderson, D. W. Incidence of decompression sickness in hypoxia training with and without 30-min O2 prebreathe. Aviat Space Environ Med. January, 2003 74(1); 56-61.
- 2002 -- PubMed # : 12526150 -- Brooks, R. R. and Oudekerk, C. and Olson, R. L. and Daniel, C. and Vacchiano, C. and Maye, J. The effect of spinal introducer needle use on postoperative back pain. AANA J. December, 2002 70(6); 449-52.
- 2002 -- PubMed # : 12425125 -- Spence, D. and Domen-Herbert, R. and Boulette, E. and Olson, R. L. and Vacchiano, C. and Maye, J. A comparison of rocuronium and lidocaine for the prevention of postoperative myalgia after succinylcholine administration. AANA J. October, 2002 70(5); 367-72.
- 2002 -- PubMed # : 12242924 -- Oakes, C. L. and Ellington, K. J. and Oakes, K. J. and Olson, R. L. and Neill, K. M. and Vacchiano, C. A. Assessment of postanesthesia short-term quality of life: a pilot study. AANA J. August, 2002 70(4); 267-73.
- 2002 -- PubMed # : 12242928 -- Davis, R. and Keenan, J. and Meza, A. and Danaher, P. and Vacchiano, C. and Olson, R. L. and Maye, J. Use of a simple forearm tourniquet as an adjunct to an intravenous regional block. AANA J. August, 2002 70(4); 295-8.
- 2002 -- PubMed # : 15321561 -- Todd, G. and John, A. and Vacchiano, C. and Pellegrini, J. Intradermal ketorolac for reduction of epidural back pain. Int J Obstet Anesth. 11(2); 100-4.
- 2002 -- PubMed # : 15098518 -- Todd, G. andJohn, M. and Miller, T. and Vacchiano, C. and Pellegrini, J. Intradermal ketorolac for the reduction of epidural back pain AANA J. April, 2002 11(2); 100-104.
- 2002 -- PubMed # : 11887541 -- Gibbs, R. D. and Movinsky, B. A. and Pellegrini, J. and Vacchiano, C. A. The morphine-sparing effect of metoclopramide on postoperative laparoscopic tubal ligation patients. AANA J. 70(1); 27-32.
- 2002 -- PubMed # : 11887546 -- Ward, R. C. and Lawrence, R. L. and Hawkins, R. J. and DiChiara, S. E. and Biegner, A. R. and Vacchiano, C. A. The use of nalmefene for intrathecal opioid-associated nausea in postpartum patients. AANA J. 70(1); 57-60.
- 2001 -- PubMed # : 11759142 -- Gohl, M. R. and Moeller, R. K. and Olson, R. L. and Vacchiano, C. A. The addition of interscalene block to general anesthesia for patients undergoing open shoulder procedures. AANA J. 69(2); 105-9.
- 2000 -- PubMed # : 11235460 -- Kelly, J. A. and Doughty, J. K. and Hasselbeck, A. N. and Vacchiano, C. A. The effect of arthroscopic irrigation fluid warming on body temperature. J Perianesth Nurs. 15(4); 245-52.
- 1999 -- PubMed # : 10488826 -- Biegner, A. R. and Anderson, D. and Olson, R. L. and Vacchiano, C. A. Quantification of insensible water loss associated with insufflation of nonhumidified CO2 in patients undergoing laparoscopic surgery. J Laparoendosc Adv Surg Tech A. 9(4); 325-9.
- 1999 -- PubMed # : 10488295 -- Celeski, D. C. and Heindel, L. and Haas, J. and Vacchiano, C. A. Effect of intrathecal fentanyl dose on the duration of labor analgesia. AANA J. 67(3); 239-44.
- 1998 -- PubMed # : 9565255 -- Vacchiano, C. A. and Osborne, G. R. and Tempel, G. E. 8-ISO-PGF2alpha production by alveolar macrophages exposed to hyperoxia. Shock. 9(4); 266-73.
- 1994 -- PubMed # : 7896640 -- Vacchiano, C. A. and Tempel, G. E. Role of nonenzymatically generated prostanoid, 8-iso-PGF2 alpha, in pulmonary oxygen toxicity. J Appl Physiol. 77(6); 2912-7.
- 1994 -- PubMed # : 7954628 -- Spinale, F. G. and Tempel, G. E. and Mukherjee, R. and Eble, D. M. and Brown, R. and Vacchiano, C. A. and Zile, M. R. Cellular and molecular alterations in the beta adrenergic system with cardiomyopathy induced by tachycardia. Cardiovasc Res. 28(8); 1243-50.
- 2011 -- PubMed # : 21560976 -- Bushey, B. A. and Auld, V. H. and Volk, J. E. and Vacchiano, C. A. Combined lipid emulsion and ACLS resuscitation following bupivacaine- and hypoxia-induced cardiovascular collapse in unanesthetized swine. AANA J. April, 2011 79(2); 129-38.
- 2011 -- Wofford, K. and Vacchiano, C. A. Sorting through the confusion: adverse cognitive change after surgery in adults. AANA Journal. August, 2011 79(4); 335-342.
- 2012 -- PubMed # : 22883447 -- MacLeod, D. B. and Ikeda, K. and Vacchiano, C. and Lobbestael, A. and Wahr, J. A. and Shaw, A. D. Development and validation of a cerebral oximeter capable of absolute accuracy. J Cardiothorac Vasc Anesth. December, 2012 26(6); 1007-14.
- 2012 -- PubMed # : 23164202 -- Muckler, V. C. and Vacchiano, C. A. and Sanders, E. G. and Wilson, J. P. and Champagne, M. T. Focused anesthesia interview resource to improve efficiency and quality. J Perianesth Nurs. December, 2012 27(6); 376-84.
- 2013 -- Fertig, J. [C. Vacchiano. featured in news story] Study explores new method to detect concussions February 4, 2013 .
- 2012 -- PubMed # : 23409641 -- Wofford, K. and Hertzberg, M. and Vacchiano, C. The perioperative implications of posttraumatic stress disorder. AANA J. December, 2012 80(6); 463-70.
- 2013 -- Burian, D. Poll shows Americans recognize the importance of lifelong learning, regular skill evaluation for healthcare providers who will treat them. Wall Street Journal (online, Business Wire). June 28, 2013 .
- 2013 -- PubMed # : 24139063 -- Wooden, S. and Docherty, S. and Plaus, K. and Kusek, A. and Vacchiano, C. Exploration of Specialty Certification for Nurse Anesthetists: Nonsurgical Pain Management as a Test Case. Pain Manag Nurs. October 15, 2013 .
- 2014 -- Vacchiano, C. A. TSNRP study examines potential for cognitive stress test TSNRP News. Spring,/Summer 2014 2014(Spr/Sum); 4-5.
- 2014 -- PubMed # : 24947022 -- Gill, M. and Natoli, M. J. and Vacchiano, C. and MacLeod, D. B. and Ikeda, K. and Qin, M. and Pollock, N. W. and Moon, R. E. and Pieper, C. and Vann, R. D. Effects of elevated oxygen and carbon dioxide partial pressures on respiratory function and cognitive performance. J Appl Physiol (1985). August, 2014 117(4); 406-12.
- 2014 -- PubMed # : 25109164 -- Gallagher, K. and Vacchiano, C. Reexamining traditional intraoperative fluid administration: evolving views in the age of goal-directed therapy. AANA J. June, 2014 82(3); 235-42.
- 2014 -- PubMed # : 25222535 -- Vacchiano, C. A. and Wofford, K. A. and Titch, J. F. Chapter 1 posttraumatic stress disorder: a view from the operating theater. Annu Rev Nurs Res. 2014 32(1); 1-23.
- 2014 -- Titch, J. F. and Holsinger, T. and Vacchiano, C., and Blood-Siegfried, J. Improving anesthetic depth assessment during electroconvulsive therapy with bispectral index monitoring: A pilot quality improvement project Anesthesia eJournal. 2014 2(2); .
- 2015 -- PubMed # : 25813298 -- Rice, A. N. and Muckler, V. C. and Miller, W. R. and Vacchiano, C. A. Fast-tracking ambulatory surgery patients following anesthesia. J Perianesth Nurs. April, 2015 30(2); 124-33.
- 2015 -- PubMed # : 26016166 -- Hawkins, R. and Wooden, S. and Waters, E. and Vacchiano, C. NBCRNA response to Zambricki et al Guest Editorial. AANA J. 83(2); 86-9.
- 2015 -- PubMed # : 25694569 -- Titch, J. F. and Vacchiano, C. Pre-ictal bispectral index values; are they accurate? Br J Anaesth. 114(3); 529-30.
- 2014 -- PubMed # : 25332464 -- D'Angelo, M. and Hodgen, R. K. and Wofford, K. and Vacchiano, C. A Theoretical Mathematical Model to Estimate Blood Volume in Clinical Practice. Biol Res Nurs. October, 2014 114(3); 529-30.
- 2014 -- PubMed # : 25313967 -- Ikeda, K. and MacLeod, D. B. and Grocott, H. P. and Moretti, E. W. and Ames, W. and Vacchiano, C. The accuracy of a near-infrared spectroscopy cerebral oximetry device and its potential value for estimating jugular venous oxygen saturation. Anesth Analg. December, 2014 119(6); 1381-92.
- 2014 -- PubMed # : 25167608 -- Wofford, K. and Hertzberg, M. and Silva, S. and Vacchiano, C. Effect of elective surgery on subjective health in veterans with chronic posttraumatic stress disorder. AANA J. August, 2014 82(4); 285-92.
- 2015 -- PubMed # : 26210555 -- Rice, A. N. and Vacchiano, C. A. Response to Letter to the Editor. J Perianesth Nurs. 30(4); 268-9.
Grant Funding (Selected)
Unmasking Cognitive Deficits After Recovery from Mild Traumatic Brain InjuryUniformed Services University of the Health Services
08/2011 to 07/2014
Project Goal: The purpose of the study is to examine the use of mild hypoxia as a clinical tool to uncover latent cognitive defects after apparent recovery from a mild traumatic brain injury.
The Effects of Bio-Behavioral Intervention of the Release of CytokinesHenry M. Jackson Foundation
09/2011 to 12/2011
The Influence of Elective Surgery on Functional Health in Veterans with PTSDUniformed Services University of the Health Services
08/2011 to 07/2012
Evaluation of the Relationship Between Velocity of Cerebral Blood Flow, Cerebral Tissue Oxygen Saturation, Mean Arterial Pressure and Cerebral Blood Flow During Sitting Orthopedic Shoulder SurgeryAmerican Association of Nurse Anesthetists Foundation;
07/2009 to 12/2010
Project Goal: The primary objective of this study is to examine the effects of blood pressure changes on cerebral blood flow velocity and cerebral oxygenation in patients undergoing sitting shoulder surgery to determine if these measures may be useful surrogates for estimating the effects of changes in systemic blood pressure on cerebral blood flow.
Nurse Anesthesia Program Rural CRNA InitiativeHealth Resources and Service Administration (HRSA)
07/2009 to 06/2012
Role: Project Director
Project Goal: The purpose of this project is to increase the number of Masters prepared Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNAs) practicing in rural, medically underserved areas of North Carolina by developing and implementing a distance learning component to our existing Nurse Anesthesia Program and by partnering with our existing hospital based clinical sites in rural / medically underserved areas to identify, recruit and enroll qualified nurses in the distance learning option.
Resuscitation of Bupivacaine Induced Cardiac CollapseDepartment of Defense, Tri-Service Nursing Research Program
07/2005 to 01/2007
Role: Co-PI / mentor for novice unfunded CRNAs
Assessment of Oxidative Stress in the Tactical Aviation and Aerospace Physiology CommunitiesNavy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery
02/2005 to 09/2007
Project Goal: The primary goal of this study was to measure the production of a group of oxygen- based free radical generated isomeric prostaglandin compounds (Isofurans) in the blood, urine and exhaled breath condensate of a group of pilots and altitude chamber inside observers intermittently and repeatedly exposed to 100% oxygen.
Oxidative Stress and Pulmonary Injury in US Navy DiversDepartment of Defense Tri-Service Nursing Research Program
10/2004 to 09/2005
Project Goal: The primary goal of this study was to measure the production of a group of oxygen- based free radical generated isomeric prostaglandin compounds (Isofurans) in the blood, urine and exhaled breath condensate of a group of divers exposed to 100% oxygen at depth.
Aviation Vigilance Testing Under Simulated HypoxiaOffice of Naval Research
10/2001 to 09/2004
Role: Associate Investigator
Project Goal: The primary goal of this study was to examine the effects of simulated hypoxia at 10,000, 12,000 and 15,000 feet on cognitive functions associated with piloting an aircraft.
Comparison of the Effects of Fexofenidine, Cetirizine, and Placebo on Cognitive Performance in Naval Flight PersonnelAventis Pharmaceuticals
06/2001 to 05/2004
Project Goal: The primary goal of this study was evaluate the effects of two medications commonly used to treat seasonal allergic rhinitis with respect to their ability to compromise the response to an in-flight emergency. The secondary goal was to evaluate the use of sea-level generated hypoxia as a surrogate in-flight emergency to determine whether or not specific prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, herbal treatments and nutritional supplements can be used by personnel in an active flight status.
Flight Performance with A Human-Centered Computing Cockpit Display System Under Hypoxic ConditionsNaval Health Research Center
12/2001 to 11/2003
Role: Associate Investigator
Project Goal: The primary goal of this study was to examine the ability to pilot an aircraft during an in-flight hypoxia emergency using a novel computer based technology that processes, configures, and presents dynamic flight information in a way that can be quickly and easily assimilated and used.
Reduced Oxygen Breathing as an Adjunct to Conventional Hypoxia TrainingOffice of Naval Research
10/2000 to 09/2002
Project Goal: The primary goal of this study was to compare the physiological, cognitive and subjective effects of sea level and altitude-induced hypoxia
Post Anesthesia Short Term Quality of Life Assessment: A Tool to Measure OutcomeAmerican Association of Nurse Anesthetists Foundation
10/1998 to 09/1999
Project Goal: The primary goal of this study was to develop and pilot a tool to measure the effect of anesthesia on short term quality of life post-operatively.
The Role of 8-Isoprostane in Oxygen Toxicity in VivoDepartment of Defense / Tri-Service Nursing Research Program
07/1994 to 08/1995
Project Goal: The primary goal of this study was to evaluate the effect of oxygen exposure on the production of a free radical generated isomeric prostaglandin compound (8-isoprostane) by isolated rat alveolar macrophages.
Oxygen Modulated, Isoprostane-Induced Pulmonary EdemaDepartment of Defense, Tri-Service Nursing Research Program
09/1993 to 09/1994
Project Goal: The primary goal of this study was to examine the ability of high inspired oxygen concentrations to increase the production of free radical generated isomeric prostaglandin compounds (isoprostanes) and nitric oxide in the lungs of rats in vivo. The secondary goal was to evaluate the potential deleterious effects of a specific isoprostane on lung fluid balance.