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Myron Yaster, M.D.

Photo of Dr. Myron Yaster, M.D.

Director of Pediatric Pain Service

Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine


Languages: English, Hebrew

Expertise: Anesthesiology , Critical Care Medicine, Interventional Pain Management

Research Interests: New methods of preoperative sedation

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The Johns Hopkins Hospital
Appointment Phone: 410-955-2393

600 N. Wolfe Street
Sheikh Zayed Tower
Baltimore, MD 21287 map
Phone: 410-955-2393
Fax: 410-614-2911


Dr. Myron Yaster is a professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine, neurological surgery and pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is a pioneer in the development of various new methods of preoperative sedation in children involving new drugs, novel drug delivery techniques and parental presence in the operating room at the induction of anesthesia.

Dr. Yaster is the inaugural Richard J. Traystman Professor in Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine.

He received his undergraduate degree from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. He earned his M.D. from the State University of New York-Downstate and completed residencies in anesthesiology at the University of Pennsylvania and pediatrics at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh – UPMC. Dr. Yaster performed a fellowship in pediatric anesthesiology at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in 1983.

Dr. Yaster started the Pediatric Pain Service at Johns Hopkins and was its director until 2005. The Pediatric Pain Service treats approximately 3,000 patients annually and is rated among the best worldwide. He was also a founding member of the Society for Pediatric Anesthesia.

Dr. Yaster has spearheaded various methods of pain management in infants, children and adolescents involving new drugs and techniques. Most recently, he developed a protocol to counteract the side effects of common opioids by using ultra low doses of naloxone, a well-known antidote for narcotic overdose. Given in very small amounts, the drug counteracts opioidal side effects without canceling out their main action: eliminating pain.

He is a member of multiple professional societies, including the Society for Critical Care Medicine, the Society for Pediatric Anesthesia and the American Academy of Pediatrics, where he holds a fellowship. His two textbooks, Pain in Infants, Children, and Adolescents and The Pediatric Pain Management and Sedation Handbook are considered the gold standard textbooks in the field. more


  • Director of Pediatric Pain Service
  • Richard J. Traystman Distinguished Professor
  • Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine
  • Professor of Neurosurgery
  • Professor of Pediatrics



  • MD, SUNY Downstate Medical Center - College of Medicine (1977)


  • Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh-UPMC / Pediatrics (1979)
  • University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine / Anesthesiology (1981)


  • The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia / Pediatric Anesthesiology (1982)

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Anesthesiology / Anesthesiology-General (1983)
  • American Board of Anesthesiology / Pediatric Anesthesiology (2013)
  • American Board of Pediatrics / Pediatrics-General (1986)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Yaster has been at the forefront of studies that demonstrated that the newborn infant responds to pain. He and his colleagues at Johns Hopkins have proven that this pain can be prevented by the appropriate use of anesthetics (general and regional) and analgesic drugs. Clearly pain, anxiety and discomfort (both physical and psychological) are not limited to the newborn and do not begin and end with the induction and conclusion of surgery and anesthesia.

He is a pioneer in the development of various new methods of pain management in infants, children and adolescents involving new drugs, novel drug delivery techniques and system management. Dr. Yaster and his team have condition-specific pain management protocols for trauma, surgery and chronic diseases, such as sickle cell anemia and cystic fibrosis.

Current research projects include:

Techniques to minimize or prevent opioid-induced side effects using ultra-low doses of opioid antagonists or peripheral opioid antagonists

Using proteomics and other molecular biologic techniques to study tolerance, dependence, withdrawal, and the interaction of the opioid and glutamate, both in acute and chronic pain models

Investigating the impact of pain and its management in target populations, including infants and children, patients with cystic fibrosis, patients with skeletal connective tissue diseases, and adult patients with brain cancer or who have undergone craniotomy surgery

Clinical Trials

Optimal Dose of Prophylactic Naloxone in Reducing Opioid-Induced Side Effects in Children/Adolescents

IVPCA in the Management of Pain Following Major Intracranial Surgery

Selected Publications

View all on Pubmed

Maxwell LG, Buckley GM, Kudchadkar SR, Ely E, Stebbins EL, Dube C, Morad A, Jastaniah EA, Sethna NF, Yaster M. "Pain management following major intracranial surgery in pediatric patients: a prospective cohort study in three academic children's hospitals." Paediatr Anaesth. 2014 Nov;24(11):1132-1140. doi: 10.1111/pan.12489. Epub 2014 Jul 29.

Mai CL, Firth PG, Ahmed Z, Rodriguez S, Yaster M. "The development of a specialty: an interview with Dr. Mark C. Rogers, a pioneering pediatric intensivist." Paediatr Anaesth. 2014 Sep;24(9):912-8. doi: 10.1111/pan.12497. Epub 2014 Jul 28. PMID: 25065470 [PubMed - in process]

Shay JE, Kattail D, Morad A, Yaster M. "The postoperative management of pain from intracranial surgery in pediatric neurosurgical patients." Paediatr Anaesth. 2014 Jul;24(7):724-33. doi: 10.1111/pan.12444.

Kudchadkar SR, Yaster M, Punjabi NM. "Sedation, sleep promotion, and delirium screening practices in the care of mechanically ventilated children: a wake-up call for the pediatric critical care community." Crit Care Med. 2014 Jul;42(7):1592-600. doi: 10.1097/CCM.0000000000000326.

Kozlowski LJ, Kost-Byerly S, Colantuoni E, Thompson CB, Vasquenza KJ, Rothman SK, Billett C, White ED, Yaster M, Monitto CL. "Pain prevalence, intensity, assessment and management in a hospitalized pediatric population." Pain Manag Nurs. 2014 Mar;15(1):22-35. doi: 10.1016/j.pmn.2012.04.003. Epub 2012 Jun 8.

Activities & Honors


  • Lifetime Achievement Award, Society for Pediatric Anesthesia, 2014
  • Excellence in Research Award, American Society for Anesthesiologists, 1997
  • Berne Award, American Physiological Society, 1996
  • Laerdal Prize, Society of Critical Care Medicine, 1991


  • American Academy of Pediatrics, 1996
  • American Society of Anesthesiology, 1979
  • Association of University Anesthesiologists, 1991
  • Congenital Cardiac Anesthesia Society, 2007
  • Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research Academy of Research Mentors in Anesthesiology, 2011
  • International Anesthesia Research Society, 1979
  • International Association for the Study of Pain, 1989
  • International Trauma Anesthesia and Critical Care Society, 1993
  • Society for Pediatric Anesthesia, 1986
  • Society of Critical Care Medicine, 1983

Professional Activities

  • Associate Professor Promotions Committee, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, 2003 - 2009
  • Board of Directors, Society for Pediatric Anesthesia, 1992
  • Board of Directors American Academy of Pediatrics Anesthesiology Section, 1987 - 1992
  • Committee on Pediatric Anesthesia, American Society of Anesthesiologists, 1992 - 2000
  • Medical School Council, Johns Hopkins University, 2005 - 2009
  • Peer reviewer, Anesthesiology
  • Peer reviewer, Anesthesia and Analgesia
  • Peer reviewer, Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine
  • Peer reviewer, Critical Care Medicine
  • Peer reviewer, Journal of Pediatrics
  • Peer reviewer, Pain
  • Peer reviewer, Pediatrics
  • Peer reviewer, Journal of Pain and Symptom Management
  • Peer reviewer, Journal of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Management
  • Procedural Sedation Committee, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, 2000
  • Section on Anesthesiology Executive Committee, American Academy of Pediatrics, 1997 - 2000
  • State of Maryland Advisory Council on Pain Management, 2002 - 2004
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