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New Anesthesia Provider May Threaten Operating Room Safety
Date:2/24/2009

Legislation would Lower the Standard of Care by Allowing Inexperienced and Less Educated Anesthesiologist Assistants to Deliver Anesthesia to Maryland Patients

ANNAPOLIS, Md., Feb. 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Maryland Association of Nurse Anesthetists (MANA), whose members are Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs), today announced their opposition to Senate Bill 798 and House Bill 1161. These troubling bills would license anesthesiologist assistants (AAs) to practice in Maryland and would drastically alter the anesthesia delivery model currently utilized in the state. AAs, who are less qualified than anesthesiologists and CRNAs, currently are licensed or certified to practice in only 10 states and cannot practice in the U.S. Military. The bills are being supported by Johns Hopkins Hospital.

"The passage of this legislation would radically change the model of anesthesia delivery and would be extremely detrimental to the quality of care in operating rooms and create unnecessary risk for Maryland patients. Maryland is a world leader in health care and lowering the standards for anesthesia providers must be rejected," said Ron Seligman, CRNA, MS, President of MANA. "Anesthesia is 95% routine care and 5% crisis management when patients have unanticipated adverse responses to anesthesia and surgery. I would think Maryland legislators would want the highest skilled practitioners handling their loved one's cases and not an AA that has no prior healthcare experience and could have been working on Wall Street just two years prior."

Patient Safety

This legislation is alarming because AAs do not need to have any prior health care experience or a health care related degree for admission to a two-year anesthesiologist assistant program.

On the other hand, a CRNA must be a registered nurse, have a four-year nursing degree, and have at least one year of critical care nu
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SOURCE Maryland Association of Nurse Anesthetists
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