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About ASA

The American Society of Anesthesiologists is an educational, research and scientific association of physicians organized to raise and maintain the standards of the medical practice of anesthesiology and improve the care of the patient.

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Published monthly, the NEWSLETTER contains up-to-date information on Society activities and other areas of interest. 

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N. Martin Giesecke, M.D., Chair

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Send general NEWSLETTER questions to communications@asahq.org.

February 1, 2013 Volume 77, Number 2
Anesthesiology in the News




Air Force Vet Named Chair in PA
Brett Anderson, M.D. has been named chair of the anesthesiology department at the Beaver campus of Heritage Valley Health System in Pennsylvania. As a Major in the U.S. Air Force, Dr. Anderson served as anesthesia chief while deployed in Iraq, and as the sole anesthesia provider while deployed in Qatar. In recognition of his service, he has received the National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal and Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon.

Anesthesia Study Opens Window into Consciousness
A November 2012 edition of Time magazine featured a study from MIT and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) that revealed what happens in the brain as patients lose consciousness during anesthesia. The study provided information on a physiological signal for measuring when someone is unconscious under anesthesia.

Recognize and Manage Physician Stress Burnout
ASA member Jessica A. Alexander, M.D. authored a guest column on KevinMD.com about how physicians can reduce stress and burnout. Dr. Alexander encouraged physicians to live each day consciously and make decisions that create less stress mentally, physically and emotionally.

The Most Important Article in NEJM History
The New England Journal of Medicine unveiled its most important article. The 1846 article, titled “Insensibility During Surgical Operations Produced by Inhalation,” explored one of the many significant advances in the specialty of anesthesia. The article was chosen by votes from NEJM readers.

Self-hypnosis Fails to Reduce Epidural Use During Labor
ASA member William R. Camann, M.D. discussed the role of self-hypnosis during labor in a Fox News/Reuters report on December 7, 2012. Dr. Camann explained while there has been much interest in hypnotic or mind control techniques for labor pain, the ones that are most effective take a lot of preparation.

Cosmetic Surgery Laws Often Aren’t Enough
In the December 10, 2012 issue of USA Today, ASA member Hector Vila, M.D. explained how several states require accreditation for offices intending to use deep or general anesthesia. Dr. Vila called for related laws to be more strictly enforced.

Anesthesiology Focus for Operating Room Efficiency
On December 26, 2012, HealthLeaders Media talked to ASA member Martin L. De Ruyter, M.D., who provided insight into how anesthesiologists are becoming more involved in perioperative care due to the increased demand for better coordinated care. Dr. De Ruyter described anesthesiologists as the “traffic cops” in operating rooms.

Why Physician-Led Pain Care Is Important for Patients
ASA Section Chair of Professional Practice Stanley W. Stead, M.D. authored a guest column on December 18, 2012 for KevinMD.com/MedPage Today about the important role of physicians in delivering pain care. Dr. Stead mentioned how the recent decision by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to reimburse nurse anesthetists for chronic pain services is dangerous and jeopardizes patient safety.

5 Challenges for Anesthesia in 2013
In the December 21, 2012 Becker’s ASC Review, ASA President-Elect Jane C.K. Fitch, M.D. weighed in on several challenges and opportunities anesthesiologists will face in 2013, including drug shortages, the Perioperative Surgical Home™ Model of Care, scope of practice and Medicare sequestration issues.

U.S. Drug Shortages: A Disappearing Problem?
ASA Vice President for Scientific Affairs Arnold J. Berry, M.D., M.P.H. explained in the British Medical Journal last December how ASA dealt with the drug shortage of propofol in 2009. The article also included major findings from the March 2012 ASA drug shortages survey.

For a complete list of news clips, please visit the ASA press room at bit.ly/MhHpMr.




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