Clinical Information - American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA)

Clinical Information

DoctorsASA offers members a wealth of resources to stay informed and connected to the latest information about anesthesiology. Our member benefits include access to practice parameters, statements, and expert consensus documents that are based on the most up-to-date scientific evidence.

ASA Practice Guidance Resources provide guidance to improve decision-making and promote beneficial outcomes for the practice of anesthesiology. They are not intended as unique or exclusive indicators of appropriate care. The interpretation and application of Practice Parameters, Statements, and Expert Consensus Documents takes place within the context of local institutions, organizations and practice conditions. A departure from one or more recommendations may be appropriate if the facts and circumstances demonstrate that the rendered care met the physician's duty to the patient.

Practice Parameters: (Standards, Practice Guidelines, Practice Advisories, Practice Alerts): ASA practice parameters comprise Standards, Practice Guidelines, Practice Advisories and Practice Alerts. These practice parameters, other than the Practice Alerts, are evidence-based and developed using a rigorous process that combines scientific and consensus-based evidence. The practice parameters provide guidance in the form of requirements, recommendations or other information to improve decision-making and promote quality outcomes for the practice of anesthesiology. The use of practice parameters cannot guarantee any specific outcome. Practice parameters are subject to periodic revision as warranted by the evolution of medical knowledge, technology and practice. Variance from practice parameters may be acceptable, based upon the judgment of the responsible anesthesiologist. All practice parameters are developed by the Committee on Standards and Practice Parameters, approved by the House of Delegates and published in Anesthesiology.

Statements and Expert Consensus Documents: Many ASA committees develop statements and other expert consensus documents that represent the opinions, beliefs and medical judgments developed by the committee members. In addition to statements, expert consensus documents include policies, positions, principles, suggestions, and definitions to promote the practice of anesthesiology.  These documents are not subject to the same scientific review as ASA Practice Parameters; however, committee-developed statements and other expert consensus documents are approved by the House of Delegates.

Each ASA member, institution or practice should decide what portion(s) of the statements and other expert consensus documents to implement, based on the medical judgement of anesthesiologists participating in that institution or practice.

ASA-Endorsed Documents: Other medical specialty societies and related organizations occasionally request ASA to endorse or to support their clinical guidelines or position statements. All requests are reviewed by the Committee on Standards and Practice Parameters and a clinical Committee of the President’s choice and must be approved by the Administrative Council and Board of Directors.

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