American Society of Anesthesiologists Primary Agenda Displayed

Date Published: 
Tue, 2009-03-24

CORONA DEL MAR, Calif., March 24, 2009 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ ----The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA: 53.449, 1.239, 2.37%) functions much like the American Medical Association (AMA: undefined, undefined, undefined%). Both publish monthly educational journals (Anesthesiology and JAMA, respectively) and express an agenda for patient safety and satisfaction. Nonetheless, both groups function primarily (and legitimately) as political organizations to represent the economic interests of their dues paying memberships.

The ink was not dry on the Outpatient Surgery Magazine (OSM: 7.9827, 0.212, 2.73%) article entitled 'Can surgery centers profit from anesthesia?' (April 2009 issue) before the ASA issued a response representing the potential economic interests of their 43,000 members (www.asahq.org/ASAlettertoOIG3-19-09.pdf), posted on their web site March 20th.

"The ASA has been passive aggressive and unresponsive to my March 11th challenge ( http://tinyurl.com/dyeybu ) to defend their record claiming to be in the never ending pursuit of patient safety and satisfaction compared to their rhetoric: (http://www.asahq.org/news/asanews030909pr.htm)," says Dr. Friedberg.

Disclaimer: Dr. Friedberg had no financial interest in the Nellcor, maker of the first commercially successful pulse oximeter.

"When the pulse oximeters became available in 1983, I insisted my hospital get them for every anesthetizing location. I am ashamed to admit that I remained a member of that group for the inglorious period from 1983 to 1990 while they dawdled over whether or not to make the ability to know the oxygen status of every patient, on a beat-by-beat basis during surgery, a requirement for the safe administration of anesthesia. I was surprised there was no material containing the debate over this patient safety monitor when I searched the ASA Newsletter on their web site during that time frame. During that time I was still a member and recall reading the debates on the subject the Newsletter I got in the mail," he says.

"Like people, organizations tend to prioritize their efforts and activities according to their importance. Observing the ASA's rapid response to the OSM article compared to their unresponsiveness to the challenge to defend their record, it is not unreasonable to conclude that their claim to be in the never ending pursuit of patient safety and satisfaction is not their primary agenda," states Dr. Friedberg.

For more information: www.drfriedberg.com

SOURCE Barry L. Friedberg, MD

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