I look forward to meeting you in person at the ASA annual meeting in San Francisco this October. As part of the ongoing process to improve the meeting experience, ANESTHESIOLOGY® 2023 will feature some new initiatives designed to support and assist attendees. I’m pleased to report that we will be offering childcare services onsite at the Moscone Convention Center. Details are being finalized regarding dates, times, and cost. Additional information will be shared on the meeting website and in future communications.
We are also working to provide opportunities for attendees to support San Francisco and create a greater connection to the local community. This will include information on local women- and minority-owned businesses that attendees can consider supporting and potential volunteer opportunities to support those in need. ASA is also currently exploring potential partnerships with women- and minority-owned businesses for services that are contracted locally in production of the meeting.
Our ANESTHESIOLOGY 2023 Keynote Speaker is Siddhartha Mukherjee, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer” and “The Song of the Cell: An Exploration of Medicine and the New Human.” Dr. Mukherjee is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Columbia University, and a cancer physician and researcher. He will speak on the future of health care. Chaired by Sheela Pai Cole, MD, FASE, the Committee on Annual Meeting Oversight is working around the clock to bring you the best science and education in the specialty this October. Please mark your calendars for October 14-17!
The new interim co-editors-in-chief at our journal Anesthesiology, Deborah J. Culley, MD, chair of the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care at Penn Medicine, and James P. Rathmell, MD, Professor of Anesthesia at Harvard Medical School and chair of the Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Health Care, encourage submission of your high-quality basic and clinical research. For more information on what Anesthesiology is looking for and how to submit, please visit the journal’s excellent Author Resource Center at pubs.asahq.org/anesthesiology/pages/authors. Anesthesiology has long been home to the very best papers in the specialty.
ASA’s newest member publication, ASA Monitor Today, is the daily digital companion to our monthly ASA Monitor. Sent to the membership each morning Tuesday through Friday via email, ASA Monitor Today features the top news in our field from around the web and also offers a deeper dive into ASA Monitor content. This new platform allows the Monitor to be more nimble than it’s ever been before in relaying news and information to the readership.
Section on Clinical Care
The ASA Section on Clinical Care directs and administers specific clinical care activities. It is composed of eight committees with widely varying areas of interest. The committees and their chairs are: Committee on Patient Blood Management (Nicole Guinn, MD), Committee on Equipment and Facilities (David Feinstein, MD), Committee on Occupational Health (Richard Beers, MD), Committee on Respiratory Care (Kevin Hatton, MD), Committee on Surgical and Procedural Anesthesia (Cassie Dietrich, MD), Committee on Trauma and Emergency Preparedness (Marc Steurer, MD, MHA), Committee on Physician Well-Being (Amy Vinson, MD), Committee on Environmental Health (Jodi Sherman, MD).
The Committee on Patient Blood Management (PBM) reviews blood product shortages and strategies for mitigation, including the recent shortage of albumin. An educational worksheet was made for all ASA members and posted to the committee resources website in 2022. The ASA annual meeting has 10-12 sessions devoted to PBM, and it was decided to create a special designation for PBM sessions, making it easy for attendees to find them. This designation has been used in 2021 and 2022 and continues in 2023. The committee chair and vice chair review all accepted sessions to determine which ones to designate with the PBM label. The committee discusses FDA approval of various blood-derived components and devices (e.g., thromboelastogram and rotational thromboelastometry analysis), the latter known as viscoelastic testing. Fibrinogen concentrate and 4-factor prothrombin complex concentrate are other examples of recent FDA approvals. The committee has members who act as liaison members to the Society for Advancement of Blood Management (SABM) and the AABB (formerly the American Association of Blood Banks).
The Committee on Equipment and Facilities has liaisons to many organizations listed in the ASA Table of Representation, including the American Society of Anesthesia Technologists and Technicians (ASATT). The committee served as a resource to ASA and the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation on the COVID-19 response, including issues such as protection and decontamination of the anesthesia machine, use of anesthesia machines as ICU ventilators, breathing system filters, and positive and negative pressure ORs. Members helped to staff a telephone hotline that offered expert consultation on anesthesia machine issues.
Members of the Committee on Occupational Health work within task forces on topics such as the Aging Anesthesiologist, Infection Prevention (including the Statement on Surgical Attire), Substance Use Disorder, Physical Hazards, Waste Anesthetic Gas Exposure, Work-Life Issues, and others. They offer a number of work products on their webpage.
The Committee on Respiratory Care acts to represent the profession of respiratory therapy within ASA, including in credentialing and other support.
The Committee on Surgical and Procedural Anesthesia maintains liaisons to the following outside organizations: American College of Surgeons Committee on Perioperative Care, American Association of Family Practice, American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine, Association of periOperative Registered Nurses, American Society of Perianesthesia Nurses, and the Council on Surgical and Perioperative Safety. The committee authored and maintains the ASA Guidelines for Patient Care in Anesthesiology.
The Committee on Trauma and Emergency Preparedness (COTEP) developed the REVIVEme initiative that focuses on rescue from opioid overdoses, a prime opportunity for ASA to demonstrate its leadership as a genuine patient safety advocate. A dedicated website (hosted by ASA) has been created (REVIVEme.com). COTEP maintains a longstanding collaboration with the American Board of Anesthesiology to help develop MOCA Minute exam questions. COTEP continued the partnership with ASA’s Interactive Computer-Based Education Editorial Board on two projects. The revision of the existing trauma simulation module (Anesthesia SimSTAT-Trauma) was completed in 2022. In addition, COTEP proposed a new curriculum for a mass casualty simulation module focusing on chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (“CBRN”) events. ASA/COTEP worked with the American College of Emergency Physicians to edit and rewrite its white paper on “Excited Delirium Syndrome,” advocating for patient safety and shepherding a name change to “hyperactive delirium” for the final report submitted in late 2021.
The Committee on Physician Well-Being divided its efforts into major working groups (ASA Outreach, Systems and Policy Impacting Well-Being, Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, and Education and Endeavors). They maintain the ASA Well-Being Resources webpage, which is now publicly facing. They developed the “wellness booth,” which evolved to a formal and dynamic kiosk at each ASA annual meeting. They continue creation of targeted member resources (one-pagers, synopsis) to disseminate supportive culture transformation, and they co-sponsored and endorsed statements before the House of Delegates (e.g., the Ad Hoc Committee on Systemic Life Imbalances “Creating a Culture of Well-being” statement approved at the 2021 ASA annual meeting). Their group has endorsed two major studies of burnout in anesthesiologists – one published and a follow-up under way.
Finally, I’d like to mention our new Committee on Environmental Health, which began as a task force within the COOH and Equipment and Facilities. Their mission is to promote environmental sustainability in health care, in particular anesthesiology and perioperative medicine, through recommendation of best practices, education, research, and advocacy. At present, they are updating their website presence, including a newly revised version of Greening the Operating Room and Perioperative Arena: Environmental Sustainability for Anesthesia Practice.