March 04, 2015
ASA Urges Congress to Support SmartTots to Fund Pediatric Anesthesia Research
As part of a continuing effort to secure Congressional support for pediatric anesthesia research, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) submitted formal comments to Congress on the importance of investing in this public safety issue.
These comments follow the release of a discussion document by the House Energy and Commerce Committee on 21st Century Cures and the Innovation for Healthier Americans report by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP). Both the House and Senate are addressing medical innovation this session. They are examining all stages of the process— discovery, development and delivery for drugs and medical devices, with a focus on addressing these processes within FDA and NIH.
Data from animal studies show commonly used anesthetics can be harmful to the developing brain and result in adverse effects on behavior, learning and memory. Additionally, accumulating evidence from studies in children suggest a similar association between surgery with anesthesia in early childhood, indicating a need that additional research is necessary to help determine if particular anesthetic drugs are hazards to young children. This research can be used to design the safest anesthetic regimens, to develop practice guidelines, and to potentially foster the development of new anesthetic drugs.
In the letters to Congress, ASA advocates for NIH funding prioritizing pediatric anesthesia research and more pediatric clinical trials. ASA also supports SmartTots, a public-private partnership between the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS), established with the purpose of funding pediatric anesthesia research. SmartTots is a multi-year collaborative effort that aims to make surgery safer for the millions of infants and young children who undergo anesthesia and sedation each year. SmartTots, through limited private funding, is already supporting research investigating the safety of pediatric anesthesia. ASA is requesting that Congress support legislation furthering the SmartTots partnership and this important patient safety issue.
ASA comments to House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
ASA comments to Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions.
Information on the SmartTots partnership.