Robert Johnstone, MD, penned a column for Pain Medicine News on the excess of anesthesia practice guidelines.
Here’s what you should know.
1. Dr. Johnstone said the recent rash in issued guidelines stems from medical societies vying for members and attention.
Dr. Johnstone said that he would ignore contradicting guidelines, but noted lawyers cite guidelines as practice standards in malpractice suits, leaving anesthesiologists viable.
2. The Society of Anesthesia and Sleep Medicine issued one such contradictory guideline. The society recommends patients wear their positive airway pressure device at appropriate times in hospitals, both pre- and postoperatively. However, Emergency Care Research Institute guidelines recommend hospitals prohibit the use of patient-owned medical equipment after several deaths.
3. Dr. Johnstone claims if an anesthesiologist attempted to read every operating room practice standard for eights hours a day, five days a week, it would take more than 2,000 years to read them all.
4. Dr. Johnstone said conflicts of interest could also affect guideline-writing groups.
5. Dr. Johnstone recommends eliminating ineffective guidelines, leaving only the clinically proven ones to free up industry clot.
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