Committees  |   March 2015
Global Anesthesia Fellowships
Author Affiliations
  • Kelly A. McQueen, M.D., M.P.H.
    Committee on Global Humanitarian Outreach
Article Information
Critical Care / Education / CPD / Infectious Disease / Pain Medicine / Patient Safety / Pediatric Anesthesia / Respiratory System / Advocacy and Legislative Issues / Quality Improvement / Committees
Committees   |   March 2015
Global Anesthesia Fellowships
ASA Monitor 03 2015, Vol.79, 30-49.
ASA Monitor 03 2015, Vol.79, 30-49.
As physician anesthesiologists, our primary goal is safe and effective patient care in the perioperative environment. Advancements in technology, monitoring and training have greatly reduced anesthesia-related mortality in developed countries.1  The same cannot be said for anesthesia in austere settings or in low-income countries. Reports from low-income countries indicate an increased anesthesia-associated mortality, with the majority of deaths identified as avoidable.2,3 
While disparities in health care between the developed and the developing world are vast, initiatives in recent years aim to address the barriers for patients to adequate health care and improved quality of life. Historically, many of these approaches primarily focused on communicable diseases. We now know that the burden of chronic diseases exceeds that of infectious diseases, and those diseases amenable to surgery account for around 28 percent of the global burden of disease.1  The last 20-plus years of focus on communicable disease resulted in declining surgical system infrastructure, resulting in an anesthesia crisis in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs.) The resulting shortage of trained anesthetic providers, lack of safety monitoring, variable access to essential medicines, including oxygen and rescue medicines, have meant greater risks for patients in need of surgery in the poorest countries.4 
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