Recent Postings

1. Approximately 30 West Virginia anesthesiologists attended the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists last month.  All the WVSSA officers, directors and delegates were there to represent the state.

WV leaders with Mark Warner, MD, new ASA President, at the House of Delegates meeting. (L-R) Drs Robert Johnstone, Mark Warner, Alex Skaff, and David Graf


2. The WVSSA sponsored two fourth-year medical students (Jafri Syed and Andrew Gentlin) who plan to enter anesthesiology residencies next year. Following is the report of Mr Syed:

As a first time attendee of the annual 2010 ASA convention this year in San Diego, CA, I was not sure what to expect. As I recall my experience of this annual meeting, I remember interacting with anesthesiologists and those training to become anesthesiologists. Enthusiasm and curiosity were prevalent amongst the convention attendees. I was amazed by the massive variety of activities going on all in one place, the San Diego Convention Center. There was a great sense of camaraderie, especially at the reception for West Virginia University affiliated anesthesiologists. Another important element of this convention was scholarship. There was a large array of lectures covering all areas of anesthesia. Some lectures I attended include the role of anesthesia in cardiac pacemaker placement and how anesthesia is important in the management of pre-eclampsia. Furthermore, the exhibit hall was filled with the newest and most innovative technology currently available in anesthesiology. It was exciting to practice using the fiberoptic camera assisted intubation. I also appreciated the image clarity of the C-arm CT scanner for use in pain management procedures. The increasing development of this technology helps make anesthesia increasingly safe and efficient.

The most important elements from the annual ASA convention seem to be patient centered healthcare and advocacy. Patient centered care is the most fundamental aspect of anesthesia. We are always concerned about the safety and comfort of the patient. We see the patient in everything we do. Being an advocate for patients and for fellow anesthesiologists is also very important. It is important to remind people that safe and successful surgical procedures would not be possible without the care of a highly trained anesthesiologist. The anesthesiologist is a vital member of the surgical team caring for the well being of the patient. These are some ideals that were most apparent at the annual ASA convention. I am very privileged to become involved in such an important organization, and I plan to continue participating in the ASA in the future. I would like to thank the West Virginia State Society of Anesthesiologists for providing me with the means to attend the annual ASA convention. I would also like to express my sincere gratitude to Dr. Robert Johnstone and Dr. Brian Grose for their support.

-Jafri Syed, MS4, West Virginia University School of Medicine, Morgantown

3. A summary of the House of Delegates actions will be published in the ASA Newsletter, while full details can be found on the website. A few items;

a.       New ASA executive officers include President, Mark Warner, MD (Minnesota), President-Elect, Jerry Cohen, MD (Florida), and First Vice President, John Zerwas, MD (Texas).

b.      Robert Johnstone, MD was re-elected Vice President for Professional Affairs. Dr Johnstone has announced his candidacy for First Vice President next year, which means a busy year of campaigning.

c.       The 2011 operating budget shows revenues of $38 million and expenses of $36 million.

d.      The most contentious issues involved approval of searching for a new ASA headquarters site near the Chicago O’Hare airport, of new practice parameters, and of two new performance measures.

e.       The primary drivers for a new headquarters were limited capacity to expand at the current headquarters, and an inability to get high bandwidth internet there. Approval was given to consider spending up to $20 million for a new headquarters. If a new site is found, then the existing office building in Park Ridge will probably be sold.

f.       Approved practice parameters included:

i.      Practice guidelines for preoperative fasting and the use of pharmacologic agents to reduce the risk of pulmonary aspiration: Application to healthy patients undergoing elective procedures

ii.      Practice advisory for the prevention of perioperative peripheral neuropathies

iii.      Practice advisory for the perioperative management of patients with cardiac implantable electronic devices: Pacemakers and implantable cardioverter-defibrillators

iv.      New language for Ventilation in the Standards for basic anesthetic monitoring. Note that this is a standard with which all members are expected to comply. It states: During regional anesthesia (with no sedation) and monitored or local anesthesia (with no sedation) care, the adequacy of ventilation shall be evaluated by continual observation of qualitative clinical signs. During moderate or deep sedation the adequacy of ventilation shall be evaluated by continual observation of qualitative clinical signs and/or monitoring for the presence of exhaled carbon dioxide unless precluded or invalidated by the nature of the patient, procedure, or equipment.

v.      The new performance measures, which will be advanced through the Physician Consortium for Performance Measures to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for consideration of inclusion in the PQRI program include Prevention of postoperative nausea and vomiting, Prevention of postoperative hypothermia (outcomes measure only).

g.       The Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation held its 25th anniversary celebration at the annual Meeting. The APSF was hailed by everyone for its outstanding achievements in improving patient safety during anesthesia.

4. The WVSSA sponsored a reception at the Annual Meeting in conjunction with the WVU Anesthesiology Department to which all WV anesthesiologists were invited. Approximately 70 people attended the reception. WVU had a large contingent since numerous faculty and residents were presenting talks, abstracts and posters at the meeting. This was so successful that another reception is planned for the Annual Meeting next October in Chicago.

5.   Political advocacy seemed to be on the minds of attendees this year as the roll-out of regulations resulting from the new healthcare reform legislation passed this year was year, as well as reports of new scope of practice legislation proposed by mid-level providers was understood. The ASA PAC booth was busy. All anesthesiologists are encouraged to contribute to the PAC to support safe patient care and the future of the specialty.

6. 2010 WVSSA officers and their e-address:

President/Alt Delegate       Stuart Cornett, MD – Edgar.Cornett@shcr.com

President-Elect/Delegate   Brian Grose, MD – groseb@rcbhsc.wvu.edu

Secretary-Treasurer           Robert Johnstone, MD – johnstoner@rcbhsc.wvu.edu

Director                             Alex Skaff, MD – ASkaff1Ace@aol.com

Alt Dir/Delegate                David Graf, MD – grafd@rcbhsc.wvu.edu

Alt Delegate                      Russell Stewart, MD – stewartr@rcbhsc.wvu.edu

At the Annual Meeting. (L-R) WVSSA President-elect, Brian Grose, MD, President Stu Cornett, MD, Sect-Treas, Robert Johnstone, MD, ASA Director, Alex Skaff, MD

Robert Johnstone, MD

WVSSA Secretary

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