May 22, 2015
ASA Submits Letter to the Editor to Washington Post
"I read with interest Todd Frankel’s May 11 article “New Machine Could One Day Replace Anesthesiologists,” but no technology, no matter how advanced, can replace a physician. The American Society of Anesthesiologists has only one concern about Sedasys, the safety of our patients. All procedures have the potential for unanticipated life-threatening complications. For example, this device cannot treat inadequate brain oxygen from asthma or low blood pressure. There are countless situations that commonly occur requiring rapid responses to prevent patient harm. When seconds count, you need a physician anesthesiologist, not a machine, to intervene immediately to save the patient’s life. With 12 to 14 years of medical education and training, we anticipate, diagnose, evaluate, and treat these complications each and every day. We care for our patients before, during and after surgery and invasive procedures. And while we deliver anesthesia, we monitor and support all of our patient’s life functions, treat their medical conditions, and mitigate their response to surgery and invasive procedures. Physician anesthesiologists safeguard our patients. Your safety, your life: it’s our top priority. While this kind of technology may facilitate our ability to care for patients, it does not have the capacity to deliver medical care."
J. P. Abenstein, M.S.E.E., M.D.
American Society of Anesthesiologists