Articles  |   June 2015
ASA Provides Examples to Each ASA Physical Status Class
Author Affiliations
  • Amr E. Abouleish, M.D., M.B.A
    Committee on Economics
  • Marc L. Leib, M.D., J.D.
    Committee on Economics
    Chair
  • Neal H. Cohen, M.D., M.P.H., M.S.
    ASA Section on Professional Practice
    Chair
Article Information
Practice Management / Articles
Articles   |   June 2015
ASA Provides Examples to Each ASA Physical Status Class
ASA Monitor 06 2015, Vol.79, 38-49.
ASA Monitor 06 2015, Vol.79, 38-49.
For more than 50 years, anesthesiologists have used the ASA Physical Status Classification System (ASA PS) to describe a patient’s preoperative and comorbid conditions. The original classification system proposed by Drs. Saklad, Rovensteine and Taylor in 1941 incorporated some examples of the clinical conditions for each physical status level to guide the assignment of a patient’s status.1  The system was subsequently modified by Dripps2  and adopted by ASA in 1962. Unlike the original system, this ASA classification system did not include any examples of each class. The system has become an integral part of the practice of anesthesiology and is used by anesthesiologists, surgeons and others to characterize patient populations in general and the preoperative medical conditions that might influence anesthetic management specifically. While there is some evidence to demonstrate uniformity in the assignment of the ASA PS level, a number of published studies have documented considerable lack of “inter-rater reliability.”3 -9 
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