Volume 4, No. 4 • Winter 1989

APSF Grows, Expands Scope, Continues Mission

Ellison C. Pierce, Jr., M.D.

In September, the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation turned four; this year has been a good one. The number of anesthesiologists who checked off their Foundation membership on the ASA dues statement exceeded 4,000, reducing the ASA original $100,000 guarantee to zero now. In addition, other regular members and corporate members have increased. The Parker B. Francis Foundation starter grant of $ 1 00,000 annually for three years was extended for a final fourth year; this funding has, of course, contributed very significantly to the initial success and financial stability. Foundation members should be aware of industry support, as noted each quarter in the Newsletter. Yearly, regular members receive membership certificates and corporate members receive plaques to place on their booths at the ASA Annual Meeting.

The size of the Board of Directors has been increased from 30 to 40, with the following among the new members: C. Rollins Hanlon, M.D. Executive Consultant of the American College of Surgeons; C. Raymond Larkin Jr., President and Chief Operating Officer of Nellcor, Inc.; Jeffrey J. Langan, General Manager, Clinical Systems Business Unit, Hewlett Packard; Jeffrey M. Beutler, M.S., C.R.N.A., Deputy Executive Director, American Association of Nurse Anesthetists; Nancy Gondringer, M.A., C.R.N.A.; Casey 0. Blitt, M.D.; Robert A. Caplan, M.D.; John H. Eichhorn, M.D.; David M. Gaba, M.D.; and Alan D. Sessier, M.D. The complete Board and committee membership will be published in the March APSF Newsletter.

For the fourth consecutive year, three significant grants for patient safety research have been awarded, as noted elsewhere in the Newsletter. It should be recognized that during these four years, the number of scientific papers presented at the ASA Annual Meeting in the areas of patient safety, epidemiology and education increased dramatically, to well over 100 this past October. The Foundation has organized three symposia examining the role of the use of simulators in anesthesia resident teaching and training. As announced in this issue, awards for the best scientific exhibits on patient safety at the ASA Annual Meeting were given.

Interest overseas continues to grow; the Foundation has developed plans to invite each year an anesthesiologist from a less advantaged country to visit the USA as an APSF Visiting Professor, probably at the time of the ASA Annual Meeting.

Lastly, of considerable significance is the current debate as to whether or not anesthesia morbidity or mortality have improved dramatically in recent years and, if they have, why? 1,2 There, however, appears no doubt that in the USA anesthesiologists’ medical malpractice insurance premiums are leveling off or declining, with the fall in award costs and consequent reduction in risk relativity factors for anesthesioloSists.3 Certainly all of us are pleased with these occurrences.

The Foundation Executive Committee and Board of Directors urge all practitioners of anesthesia to become members and supporters of the Foundation.

Ellison C. Pierce, Jr., M.D. President, APSF


  1. Eichhorn, JH: Prevention of intraoperative anesthesia accidents and related severe injury through safety monitoring. Anesthesiology, 1989;70:572.577.
  2. Orkin FK: Practice standards: the Midas touch or the emperor’s new clothes? Anesthesiology. 1989;70:567-57 1. 3. Pierce EC: Introduction. In Pierce EC Jr. (ed.) Risk Management in Anesthesia. Inter Anesthesiol Clin. 1989;27(3): 133-136.