ASA Survey: Over 90% Anesthesiologists Face Drug Shortages

Results from an American Society of Anesthesiologists survey found more than 90 percent of anesthesiologist respondents are currently experiencing a shortage of at least one anesthetic, according to an ASA news release.

When taking into account drug shortages within the past year, this number increased to 98 percent. Among respondents, 56.9 had current or recent shortages of neostigmine, 54.7 percent for thiopental, 47.6 percent for succinylcholine, 40.3 for propofol and 17.3 for glycopyrrolate.

More than 91 percent of respondents have been able to manage the drug shortages by using alternative medications, though physicians reported that alternatives have caused almost half of the patients who underwent procedures during a drug shortage to experience less than optimal outcomes, such as increased frequency of nausea. A similar percentage of patients had longer operating room and recovery times as well as increased healthcare costs because of the shortage, respondents said.

Drug shortages also caused over half of respondents to alter care for patients and approximately 10 percent to postpone or cancel procedures.

Read the ASA release on results from the Drug Shortages Survey.

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