APSF President Cited by FDA for Safety Work

Peter B. Carstensen

Ellison C. Pierce, Jr., M.D., President of the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation, received a special citation for his work in anesthesia patient safety from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on July 10, 1987.

Dr. Pierce was presented with the Commissioner’s Special Citation in recognition of the outstanding leadership he has provided over the past several years to advance anesthesia patient safety in the United States. The Agency commended Dr. Pierce for his exceptional vision and courage in assuming and fulfilling this important leadership role.

The FDA cited Dr. Pierce for his initiatives in organizing the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation in 1985, whose Board of Directors includes anesthesiologists and representatives from biomedical engineering, device and drug manufacturers, the FDA, hospitals, the insurance industry and nurse anesthesia. The FDA observed that in the short time since the establishment of the Safety Foundation it has become a recognized leader in patient safety through its important and comprehensive national program to improve patient safety in anesthesia.

In nominating Dr. Pierce (who is also chairman of the ASA committee on Patient Safety and Risk Management) for the award, the FDA cited him for his role in initiating production of the ASA educational video tape series, “ASA Patient Safety Program ‘” This educational series for anesthesia providers’ covers a wide range of important anesthesia patient safety issues. The FDA, which contributed significantly to the production of the tapes, expressed confidence that they would have a continuing and significant impact on anesthesia patient safety.

Dr. Pierre’s critical role in developing the “Anesthesia Pre-use Checkout Recommendation” with the FDA was also recognized. The checkout recommendation serves as a guide for users of anesthesia equipment in performing a daily check of their equipment before use on the patient. (APSF Newsletter, September, 1986).

Mr. Carstensen is Engineering Consultant, Center for Devices and Radiologic Health, U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Reprinted with permission from the ASA Newsletter.