CORONA DEL MAR, Calif., Oct. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- An article in this month's official newsletter of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) reads:
" ... Office-based anesthesia (OBA) requires a different approach than that used in a hospital and an ambulatory surgicenter: not all anesthesia providers have the skill, knowledge base or personality to deal with this environment." -- Rebecca Twersky, MD
To this, Homer Simpson would have responded. "Doh."
More than a decade ago, the ASA held quite a different position. There were no lectures given at the annual meetings specific to office-based anesthesia and most definitely no space devoted to OBA in the ASA Newsletter. They were in adamant denial about OBA's very existence.
Why, one might ask?
When asked if he believed there was a difference between anesthesia given in a surgicenter compared with that given in an office-based setting, in 1995, noted anesthesiologist, Paul F. White PhD, MD, stated, "If it's not done in the hospital isn't it all ambulatory?"
Staggered by this naive response from White, one of anesthesiology's most prominent thinkers, Dr. Barry Friedberg was inspired to create the Society for Office Anesthesiologists (SOFA) in 1996. Independent of Friedberg's effort in California, Marc Koch, MD, in New York, created the Office Anesthesia Society (OASIS), and Charles Laurito, MD in Chicago, created the Society for Office Based Anesthesia (SOBA). The societies, which merged in 1998, were all non-profit, educational societies created in response to the need to recognize the difference in the office-based environment. Clearly, OBA was a nascent national movement. Although the ASA recognized SOBA, they were very slow to appreciate its significance for patient safety.
Another wake-up call came in 2004 w
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