Anesthesiologists in the News

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May 1, 2013 Volume 77, Number 5
Anesthesiologists in the News

National Physician-led Pain Care Message
In a January 2013 syndicated article, picked up by more than 1,279 online media outlets, ASA Chair of the Committee on Communications John F. Dombrowski, M.D. stressed the importance of physician-led pain care.

Fear of Anesthesia?
ASA President-Elect Jane C.K. Fitch, M.D. participated in a January 12, 2013 radio segment on Voice America to help reduce the fear many patients have about undergoing anesthesia.

Get Healthy, Improve Anesthesia Outcomes
On January 15, 2013, ASA member of the Committee on Communications Nina Singh-Radcliff, M.D. authored a guest column on how patients can improve anesthesia outcomes by getting healthy.

Avoid Unnecessary Preop Tests ASA Chair of the Committee on Standards and Practice Parameters Jeffrey L. Apfelbaum, M.D. discussed unnecessary preop tests in the February 2013 issue of Same-Day Surgery.

Value of Anesthesia Care Teams
The Los Angeles Times published a letter to the editor from ASA President John M. Zerwas, M.D. on February 15, 2013. The letter explained how anesthesiologists lead other mid-level providers on anesthesia care teams.

Cardiac Anesthesia
On February 19, 2013, ASA member of the Committee on Cardiovascular and Thoracic Anesthesia John R. Rotruck, M.D. authored a guest column on the connection between a healthy heart and anesthesia.

Dispelling Media Myths of Anesthesiologists
On March 17, 2013, ASA member Paul H. Ting, M.D. authored a guest column to dispel stereotypes of anesthesiologists in the media. Dr. Ting explained how anesthesiologists treat patients well beyond the procedure room.

Quit Smoking, See Results
In the March/April 2013 issue of Health & Wellness, ASA member of the Committee on Communications Nina Singh-Radcliff, M.D. penned a column on the health benefits of quitting smoking.

Member and Staff Announcements
ASA member Brett K. Anderson, M.D. was named chair of the anesthesiology department at the Beaver campus of Heritage Valley Health System on December 10, 2012.

ASA member Robert N. Sladen, M.B., Ch.B., F.C.C.M. received the Shubin-Weil Master Clinician/Teacher Excellence Award from the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) on January 21, 2013.

On March 1, Associations Now announced the appointment of Paul Pomerantz as the new CEO of ASA.

On March 4, 2013, Yahoo! News announced the appointment of Manuel E. Bonilla, M.S. as the new Chief Advocacy Officer of ASA.

ESA Safety Kit to Help Raise Anesthesia Safety Standards
The European Society of Anaesthesiology (ESA) will launch a “safety starter kit,” to be distributed on a flash drive at this year’s Euroanaesthesia 2013 congress in Barcelona, Spain, June 1-4. Following the Euroanaesthesia congress, ESA will publish the kit in a dedicated section of its website

The kit was assembled following the landmark 2010 Helsinki Declaration on Patient Safety, which targets the factors that contribute to patient safety before, during and after surgery.

The Helsinki Declaration states that steps must be taken to address the numerous human and technical factors that can affect patient safety, including drug and syringe labeling, checking equipment, difficult or failed intubation, bleeding, infections, and anesthetic toxicity. It also requires anesthesiology departments to collect data in order to produce annual reports on patient safety so that improvement in safety practice can be tracked and exchange of knowledge be accomplished.

To cater to the multiple aims of the Helsinki Declaration, the safety starter kit contains the following:

  • Selected articles of the publication “Safety in Anaesthesia” (Best Practice & Research: Clinical Anaesthesiology).
  • A book on patient safety by internationally recognized expert Charles Vincent.
  • A proposed template for an anesthesia departmental safety report.
  • The text of the original Helsinki Declaration.
  • Hazard warnings published in countries that alert anaesthesiologists to important adverse events.
  • Presentations and podcasts of essential aspects of patient safety, including human limitations in the operating room and an introduction to critical incident reporting.
  • Presentations for basic lectures on patient safety/risk management, including topics on medication error, good communication and teamwork.
  • Checklists for emergency management in the O.R. for situations such as those involving newborns, anaphylaxis, hypertension, hypotension, etc.
  • The WHO Safe Surgery Checklist.
  • A list of links to important Internet resources.

  • Many of the practices and tools in the starter kit may be commonplace in European hospitals, but ESA hopes the kit will support hospitals that have yet to fully establish the standards of the Helsinki Declaration.

    For more information, contact Dr. Sven Staender at