Physician anesthesiologists offer a unique expertise and skill set that is significantly different from those offered by other medical specialties that care for trauma patients.
While not every physician anesthesiologist will be directly involved in patient care during a mass disaster, most will care for trauma patients in their emergency department, operating room, ICU and pain clinic — whether in a trauma center or not — at some time during the patient’s acute resuscitation or chronic follow-up.
Trauma is the leading cause of death for individuals up to the age of 45 years and the third leading cause of death in the United States.
Physician anesthesiologists who manage trauma must be prepared to care for a patient with any form and severity of injury, those with a pre-existing condition and who may require an operation regardless of the time of day, or when resources are not readily available.
A broad, evidence-based knowledge of the specialty, as well as trauma surgery, is necessary to understand the nuances of traumatic injury management, the unique pathophysiological processes observed in trauma, and the pharmacological modifications that may be necessary to provide anesthesia.
What ASA Is Doing:
After 9/11, ASA established its Committee on Trauma and Emergency Preparedness (COTEP).
COTEP has collaborated to identify several useful references for physician anesthesiologists.
The Committee also created useful products for physician anesthesiologists responsible for emergency preparedness from both a professional and personal perspective.