Circulation 60,475 • Volume 15, No. 3 • Fall 2000

New International Patient Safety Group Takes Shape

J.S. Gravenstein, MD

The International Anesthesia Patient Safety Federation (IAPSF) was officially formed as the successor group to the International Committee for the Prevention of Anesthetic Morbidity and Mortality (ICPAMM) at a meeting prior to the World Congress of Anesthesiologists in June.

Since prior to the inception of the APSF, Dr. Jeff Cooper has extended a welcoming hand to the international community of anaesthetists. As follow up to an initial highly successful symposium meeting in Boston in 1984, he arranged for meetings of ICPAMM every other year, usually at either the World Congress or the European Congress. ICPAMM had a delightful air of informality, having neither a president, nor a secretary, nor a headquarters. Of course, it needed none of these because it had Dr. Cooper who, with benevolent support from the APSF, organized the meetings, sent out announcements, summarized the gist of the meetings for the APSF Newsletter and mailed an informal but informative news bulletin periodically to the many unofficial members of ICPAMM.

At the time of the recent World Congress of Anesthesiologists in Montreal, a group of international colleagues (most of them previous ICPAMM participants) arranged a session in which they addressed specific problems they had identified as particularly important in their respective countries (see summary, “International Anesthesia Safety Group Hears Worldwide Perspective at World Congress” in the Summer APSF Newsletter, pages 26-29). At the end of this Montreal meeting, a group of ICPAMM supporters transformed the venerable non-organization into a more structured entity calling itself the International Anesthesia Patient Safety Federation. The new officers are: a President (Dr. Amr Montasser from Egypt), a Vice President (Dr. Ryoichi Ochiai from Japan), and a Secretary (Dr. Florian Nuevo from the Philippines). Organizational efforts to promote anesthesia safety campaigns and programs in various member countries are already underway.

APSF in the United States can be pleased that its example has given rise to an international effort to support safety in anesthesia. I am sure I speak for a great many international colleagues in thanking Dr. Jeff Cooper for having conceived and sustained ICPAMM and for having guided it to the point where it can start a new life in the form of IAPSF.

Dr. Gravenstein, a founding Executive Committee member of APSF and a senior international statesman in the cause of anesthesia patient safety, is Graduate Research Professor at the University of Florida, Gainesville, and was a key organizer of the IAPSF inaugural meeting.