Circulation 60,475 • Volume 14, No. 3 • Fall 1999

APSF President Corrects “Misconception” Regarding 0rigin of the Foundation

Robert K. Stoelting, M.D.

To the Editor

A letter to the Editor in the Summer 1999 issue of the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation Newsletter dealing with the sodium metabisullite preservative controversy surrounding a new formulation of propofol (Mary R. Locke, CRNA: “CRNA Notes Propofol Dichotomy, Appreciates Newsletter Publicity”) included the incorrect statement that the “APSF is an offshoot of the AANA.” This statement by Ms. Locke suggesting that the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation (APSF) was the result of activities of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) cannot go unchallenged and uncorrected.

The APSF was the result of the vision of Ellison C. (Jeep) Pierce, Jr., M.D. while he was serving as President of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) in 1985. The formation of a foundation with the stated goal that “no patient shall be harmed by anesthesia” and whose Board of Directors included anesthesiologists, certified registered nurse anesthetists and other nonphysician health care professionals, leaders of the pharmaceutical and equipment industry, representatives of the insurance industry, legal profession, accrediting agencies, and government, was—and remains—unique among all of American medicine.

The APSF has flourished in its role as an independent advocate for anesthesia patient safety. Nevertheless, the success of the APSF would not have been possible without the past, present, and continued financial support of the ASA. To suggest that the APSF is an “offshoot” of the AANA is not correct and mischaracterizes the important role of CRNAs in the activities of the APSF as well as the “Subscribing Patron” status of the AANA in supporting the publication and mailing costs of the APSF Newsletter to its members.

Robert K. Stoelting, M.D. President Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation