|Next Meeting: 38th Annual Conference — April 12-15 , 2014 — The Westin on Hilton Head Island, SC|
Facts About AAs
Whether it is AAs or CRNAs, when working under the direction of an anesthesiologist they form the Anesthesia Care Team, which peer-reviewed studies have proven to be the safest method of anesthesia delivery to the patient. And the impeccable safety record of AAs has been documented most recently in a data comparison by University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio, which employs both AAs and CRNAs. The Medical Center compared adverse events over four years (1999 - 2003), examining 23 thousand cases for each provider. Quoting the analysis, "Complication rates were no higher for AAs than CRNAs."
Lester points out that this flexibility leads to excellent relationships between AAs and CRNAs in Georgia, and the patient benefits because of the equal safety records of the two providers. In South Carolina, "We have not heard of any complaints about AAs and those who have hired them are happy," says Satish Prabhu, MD, the current President of the South Carolina Board of Medical Examiners. "The feedback we have is that they are working well with the anesthesiologists and CRNAs.
Larry D. Dixon, Executive Administrator of the Alabama State Board of Medical Examiners says of AAs, "The state of Alabama recognizes their ability and expertise. The board is satisfied that AAs are well trained."
Don Biggs, the president of the American Academy of Anesthesiologist Assistants says patients in Florida, Washington, DC, and North Carolina, if its legislation passes, will see the same kind of patient safety standards, along with the increased access to medical care. But, Biggs says more states need to be made aware of the AAs existence because, "Our training allows us to intervene on the patient's behalf at the most critical junctures in the course of their medical care, regardless of the complexity of the surgery. And that is why AAs are such a critical part of the health care system, especially considering the continued shortage of anesthesia providers."
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