To the Editor:
I write to express my enthusiasm for the idea of having anesthesia simulators. I read the article in the March APSF Newsletter. Simulators can do a lot for us in anesthesia. They will allow the anesthesiologist to be periodically (once a year?, twice a year?) exposed to a variety of situations that otherwise he/she would see only very rarely, if ever. Through this exposure, recognition as well as reaction time and institution of corrective measures will undoubtedly improve.
With today’s computer technology (hardware/ software), one simulator could be accessible to many anesthesiologists. There could also be different levels of operation and sophistication.
The cost of such a simulator, s 10,000,000, is a great deal of money but it is the amount often paid in a single settlement of a malpractice suit originating in events that this simulator will help prevent. A few simulators could be strategically placed throughout the country making access possible for all practicing anesthesiologists. The expenses of building such simulators could be paid by recruiting a coalition of malpractice insurance companies, health insurance companies, health care providers and others. Operation and maintenance could be sold through a matching program including users fees.
If users would be rewarded with substantial premium discounts from their malpractice insurance companies, I believe most anesthesiologists would be willing to participate.
Work on automated record keeping will play a definite roll in the acquisition of data to build such a simulator.
Anesthesiologists need simulators. The simulator’s automated anesthesia record keeping and monitoring will bring our specialty genuinely to the computer age.
0. Mario Carlomagno, M.D. Knoxville, TN