The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) today announced its recognition of Patient Safety Awareness Week, March 3-9, 2013. Throughout the week, ASA will educate patients on the importance of physician-led care to make critical, life-saving decisions.
Over the past century, anesthesiologists have led research, science and technology advancements to make anesthesia safer than ever. These advancements have also consistently improved the quality of care patients receive before, during and after surgery.
"Anesthesiologists have long been committed to improving patient safety," said ASA Chair of the Committee on Patient Safety and Education Alan Marco, M.D. "In recent years, ASA has been actively involved in several patient safety initiatives, including the establishment of the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation and the Anesthesia Quality Institute to help anesthesiologists assess and improve patient care as well as the formation of more than 100 practice standards, guidelines, statements and parameters."
With at least 10,000 hours of specialized medical education and training, anesthesiologists watch over patients' care to monitor, protect and safeguard their critical life functions in the operating room, procedure room, intensive care unit and pain clinic. Anesthesiologists also are the first to diagnose and treat any medical problems that may arise during surgery and recovery.
"Anesthesiologists have advanced a complex area of medicine to a level of safety that has never been possible," said ASA President John M. Zerwas, M.D. "During surgery and anesthesia, critical decisions may need to be made in a matter of seconds. It is important physicians supervise the administration of anesthesia to make essential medical decisions that save patients' lives. When a physician supervises patients' anesthesia care, they can have peace of mind knowing that their safety is in well trained and skilled hands."
American Society of Anesthesiologists