Recognizing that airway problems and mishaps are the types of anesthesia patient safety issues that have been the least impacted by the significant improvement in anesthesia patient safety during recent years, the State of New Jersey has amended its “Hospital and Surgicenter Regulations” to include the mandatory deployment of a “difficult airway cart” within every anesthesia department.
The required difficult airway cart must include, but is not limited to, the presence of a fiberoptic intubating laryngoscope, LMAs, intubating LMAs, and equipment for jet ventilation. The new regulation most likely will go into effect at the end of 1999.
Representatives of the New Jersey State Society of Anesthesiologists served on the state committee that drafted the new requirement and their recommendation to mandate this type of cart met with no opposition.
New Jersey has long had what is most likely the most comprehensive set of state regulations in the country related to anesthesia practice and anesthesia patient safety.
Dr. Moss is Executive Medical Director of the New Jersey State Society of Anesthesiologists and also a member of the Board of Directors of the APSF.