October 07, 2013
ASA LTE on Sedasys Published in WSJ
ASA submitted the following letter to the editor in response to the article, "Robots vs. Anesthesiologists," which ran on September 26, 2013. The LTE was subsequently published on October 6, 2013 (subscription required).
While Johnson & Jonhson's new Sedasys machine is able to administer sedation in very limited circumstances ("Robots vs. Anesthesiologists," Marketplace, Sept. 26), the reality is that no machine can replace the skills of a physician. Emergencies can and do occur during colonoscopies or any surgical procedure, even with the healthiest of patients. Patients are at risk unless there is a physician present, properly trained in rescue from unintended deep sedation and prepared and capable of addressing deterioration in the patient's life functions. In addition, the notion of cost savings may quickly be lost as additional physician support is necessary in the rescue of a patient from a life-threatening situation.
Our primary goal is to deliver the safest medical care. We will be watching closely because all patients deserve the vigilance of a trained physician.
John M. Zerwas, M.D.
Jane C.K. Fitch, M.D.
American Society of Anesthesiologists
Park Ridge, Ill.