The anesthesiologist's role in mass tragedies — Facts, resources & reminders

In the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, Anesthesia Business Consultants President and CEO Tony Mira talked to Dean Polce, DO, of Las Vegas-based Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, about emergency preparedness.

Dr. Polce offered facts, compliance reminders and links to helpful resources for anesthesiologists.

  1. Mass Casualty Checklist — The American Society of Anesthesiologists' Committee on Trauma and Emergency Preparedness developed a checklist for use by providers. The checklist provides instructions and specific tasks that must be completed in the event of a mass casualty incident. The list is guided by emergency preparedness principles but can be customized to an individual facility.
  1. MADOM chapter — The ASA committee also added a chapter on emergency preparedness to the ASA Manual for Anesthesia Department Organization and Management. In an emergency, anesthesiologists will assume the role of "first responders" because of their knowledge and training in trauma and critical care. Dr. Polce encourages anesthesiologists to read the chapter and participate in emergency preparedness planning.
  1. Stop the Bleed — Hemorrhaging is the leading cause of preventable death after a mass casualty event. Anesthesiologists should volunteer their skills to help educate the public. The White House started a national awareness campaign called Stop the Bleed in October 2015, to provide bystanders with knowledge on what they should do in the event of an emergency.
  1. CMS emergency preparedness deadline nears — CMS issued a final rule requiring covered entities to prepare emergency preparedness plans. The deadline to submit such plans is Nov. 15, 2017. The plan should provide comprehensive and consistent policies to respond to emergency situations. ASCs, hospitals, transplant centers and critical care hospitals are all required to submit a plan.
  1. HIPPA Decision Tool — The Office of Civil Rights created an interactive decision tool to help emergency preparedness planners decide when to give access to or use protected health information to stay consistent with HIPPA. In an evacuation, planners would want to know how to care for elderly or disabled patients. The tool guides users through several questions on how the privacy rule would will apply in certain situations. HIPPA is not suspended in the event of an emergency.

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Plexus Technology Group to present at Anesthesiology 2017 

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