Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Anesthesia Patient Safety

Jeffrey Cooper PhD

Remember when the biggest fear of dying in a hospital was the anesthesia?  We don’t hear about anesthesia deaths anymore – or at least not too much.  Maybe that’s because the Anesthesia PatientSafety Foundation was formed in 1985.  Through research and the sharing of information, advances have been made and lives have been saved.  Jeffrey Cooper PhD is the founder and Executive Director of the Center for Medical Simulation, which is dedicated to the use of simulation in healthcare.  He is also a founding member of the NationalPatient Safety Foundation and a colleague of mine on the board of governors of the NPSF for many years.
I remember years ago when I visited the simulation lab run by Dr. Cooper in Massachusetts.  I stood behind the glass and watched the physicians as they did “surgery” on mannequins.  The person behind the glass with me would make things go wrong so the anesthesiologist would have to find the problem.  I still remember that it was a mucous plug clogging the breathing tube.  The young physician couldn’t find the problem.  In this case, the patient would have died if it were real.  But it wasn’t real – no one died and I bet that doctor never made that mistake again.  This is what they do daily there – save lives through education in one very important area.
Dr. Cooper received the highest honor from his colleagues at the The American Society of Anesthesiologists, The Distinguished Service Award.  It’s my personal honor knowing him all these years and knowing what an impact he has made in safe patient care. Congratulations Dr. Cooper on this recognition.  I wish it could have come from me!

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