September 14, 2011
Statement from the Michigan Society of Anesthesiologists in Response to Governor Snyder’s Health & Wellness Announcement
We applaud Gov. Rick Snyder for his efforts to put Michigan on the path toward a healthier future.
As the Governor stated, “the state of Michigan currently ranks 8th in the nation with an adult obesity rate of 31.7 percent.” It also has the sixth-highest rate of adult asthma in the nation. In addition to these disproportionately high rates of chronic conditions, Michiganders also appear to suffer from a lack of awareness about how these conditions affect their overall health and the medical care they receive.
Combining that lack of awareness with the fact that patients living with these types of chronic conditions tend to undergo surgical procedures at a higher rate than others, puts these Michiganders at even greater risk. Procedures for these chronic diseases that require anesthesia come with a higher probability of complications for patients, yet people in Michigan are largely unaware of these health dangers. According to a recent survey of Michiganders, while 74 percent of Michigan residents understand the basic nature of what anesthesiologists do – putting patients under for surgery and safely reviving them afterwards – only 24 percent expressed a concern about the risks involved with anesthesia or an understanding of the seriousness of the role that anesthesiologists play in preventing negative outcomes during surgical procedures. This is why the Michigan Society of Anesthesiologists and the American Society of Anesthesiologists recently launched a public education campaign to raise awareness about the same medical conditions the Governor is rightly concerned about. To learn more, please visit www.lifelinetomodernmedicine.com.
As physicians we too are committed to improving patient health and safety because we see the life-threatening effects that obesity, asthma and other chronic conditions, including high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes, have on our anesthesia patients every day. The more Michigan citizens know about how their health affects their medical care, the safer and healthier all of us in Michigan will be. We look forward to working and standing with Gov. Snyder and his office in the fight for Michigan’s health and safety.