American Society of Anesthesiologists, Oct. 11-15

The American Society of Anesthesiologists Annual Meeting (ANESTHESIOLOGY 2014)

The annual meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists was held from Oct. 11 to 15 in New Orleans and attracted approximately 15,000 participants from around the world, including anesthesiologists and other health care professionals. The conference featured presentations focusing on the latest advances in the relief of pain and total care of surgical patients prior to, during, and after surgery.

In one study, Mark Zakowski, M.D., of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, and colleagues found that women with the lowest level of vitamin D required more epidural pain medication during labor than those with higher vitamin D levels.

"Currently, approximately 40 percent of Americans have low vitamin D levels, which can be associated with a variety of health problems," said Zakowski. "Some studies have shown very low vitamin D during pregnancy to be associated with a greater risk for severe preeclampsia and gestational diabetes mellitus, and may affect bone mineral calcification in their child. This is something we can monitor during pregnancy and address prior to labor."

According to Zakowski, future studies will evaluate the mechanisms and effects of vitamin D on intrapartum and postpartum pain.

"Clinicians should be aware of the potentially wide implications of low vitamin D on maternal and child health," Zakowski added.

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In another study, Sarah Tariq, M.D., of Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock, and colleagues found that breathing problems during or after surgery are twice as likely to occur in African-American children.

"In our research, we found that 14 percent of African-American children had breathing problems during surgery, compared to 7 percent of Caucasian children. These problems are most likely to happen during ear, nose, and throat surgeries such as removal of tonsils and adenoids," said Tariq. "Identification of high-risk patients can help us better prepare these patients for surgery, meaning we can work more aggressively preoperatively to optimize these patients prior to surgery. Such measures can potentially decrease complications during surgery and improve patient safety and outcomes."

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Flower Austin, D.O., of the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, and colleagues found that patients who underwent hysterectomies who listened to jazz music during the recovery period experienced significantly lower heart rates compared to those who were given noise-cancelling headphones. However, pain scores were lower for those patients provided noise-cancelling headphones compared to those who listened to Jazz music.

"Although jazz does not seem to help with pain, studies have shown that music is therapeutic. The goal is to find out how we can incorporate this into our care. What kind of music? When should we play it? When to be silent? Music is cost-effective and low-risk and may increase patient satisfaction," said Austin.

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ASA: Post-Op Pain Management Improves in Past Decade

TUESDAY, Oct. 14, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The percentage of American patients who experience serious postoperative pain appears to have fallen significantly over the past decade, a new survey reveals. These findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, held from Oct. 11 to 15 in New Orleans.

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ASA: Anesthesia Complications Drop by Half

MONDAY, Oct. 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Anesthesia-related complications in the United States have fallen by more than half, while the overall death rate has remained the same, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), held from Oct. 11 to 15 in New Orleans.

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ASA: Lidocaine During Breast Sx May Reduce Long-Term Pain

MONDAY, Oct. 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Lidocaine given to women undergoing mastectomy reduces their risk of persistent pain after the procedure, according to a new study. The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), held from Oct. 11 to 15 in New Orleans.

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ASA: Chewing Gum Before Surgery Appears Safe

MONDAY, Oct. 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- It's safe to chew gum while fasting before surgery, researchers report. Their findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), held from Oct. 11 to 15 in New Orleans.

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