March 28, 2022
Utah Anesthesiologist Lawmaker Leads Updates for Outpatient Anesthesia/Sedation Laws
Utah Governor Spencer J. Cox signed into law House Bill 384, legislation updating non-hospital outpatient anesthesia and sedation requirements. Physicians, qualified dentists, podiatrists, and nurse anesthetists are subject to the new law. An anesthesia professional who fails to meet these standards commits unprofessional conduct.
Before administering moderate sedation, deep sedation, or general anesthesia in an outpatient setting, the anesthesia/sedation professional must notify the patient in writing or verbally:
- The level of anesthesia/sedation being administered;
- The name, type of license, and training of the individual performing the patient’s procedure;
- The name, type of license, and training of the professional administering anesthesia/sedation; and
- The monitoring that will take place during the anesthesia/sedation.
The anesthesia professional must directly supervise the anesthetized/sedated patient. The law requires having at least one person in the procedure room who has advanced airway training, along with the ability to treat airway complications and rescue a patient who has entered a deeper than intended level of sedation. An anesthesia professional must also have access to an advanced cardiac life support crash cart. The crash cart must be regularly maintained as provided by the American Heart Association and include specified equipment and emergency medications. Monitors must meet standards as provided by the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA).
The new law also authorizes the Department of Professional Licensing to develop training and safety standards for administering general anesthesia, deep sedation, and moderate sedation. The standards are to be based on guidelines by national organizations such as ASA, the American Dental Association, or the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.
ASA applauds longtime member Utah State Rep. Suzanne Harrison for sponsoring and leading this important legislation. As the volume and complexity of procedures performed in outpatient settings increases, it is critical to ensure patients are protected through awareness of the licensure and qualifications of the anesthesia professional providing their care as well as standardized anesthesia/sedation equipment, monitoring, and emergency equipment/drugs.