March 23, 2020
ASA / SCCM / SOCCA Joint Statement to Collaboratively Address the COVID-19 Pandemic
Updated Joint Statement Issued March 25, 2020
The Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) and the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) are pleased to announce plans to collaborate to address the COVID-19 pandemic which were discussed on a March 20 conference call between ASA President Mary Dale Peterson, M.D., MSHCA, FACHE, FASA, SCCM President Lewis Kaplan, M.D., FACS, FCCP, FCCM, with ASA CEO Paul Pomerantz and SCCM CEO David Martin. The leadership of SCCM recognizes the foundation of training and experience that anesthesiologists have in critical care, and their ability to quickly supplement the nation’s critical care physician workforce. The Society of Critical Care Anesthesiologists (SOCCA), on March 25, agreed to sign on to this statement in support of all it outlines.
The key elements of our collaboration are:
- Rapid development of focused training for the anesthesiologist. To that end, we have created a joint work group consisting of representation from ASA Committee on Critical Care Medicine, SCCM Anesthesiology Section, and Society of Critical Care Anesthesiologists.
- Expansion of critical care capacity through conversion of anesthesia machines to ventilators. This will include development and communication of technical requirements and training resources as well as outreach to manufacturers. These activities will also be carried out by the joint work group supported by experts in equipment from ASA and APSF.
- Development of training resources for respiratory therapists.
- An initiative to identify anesthesia machine capacity outside the hospital setting which can be converted to increase capacity. This includes ambulatory surgery centers, research and veterinarian facilities.
- Address the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) through coordination of guidance to respective members and advocacy for adequate supplies.
Finally, the leaders agreed to communicate the outcome of the meeting to their respective members and maintain regular communication throughout the crisis.