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When a routine surgical procedure goes bad or an emergency arises, patients can rely on physician anesthesiologists to evaluate, diagnose and intervene, providing patients with optimal care – saving lives. We know that and are in the process of making sure legislators, policy influencers, hospital administrators; media and the public know it as well.

ASA launched, When Seconds Count, which drives home the importance of having a physician-led Anesthesia Care Team.


Anesthesia 101 

Get the anesthesia basics. Learn about the different types of anesthesia and about physician anesthesiologists, the medical doctors who oversee your care before, during and after your procedure. Understand the importance of having a physician lead your Anesthesia Care Team and the role physician anesthesiologists play in making sure you receive the highest-quality and safest care.   Learn more


Patient Safety

Ensuring patient safety should always be a top priority. You can take steps to make sure you receive the highest-quality care by understanding the risks associated with anesthesia and surgery, what you can do to reduce them and the importance of having a physician anesthesiologist delivering your anesthesia and/or leading your Anesthesia Care Team.   Learn More


When Seconds Count- Stories

Watch and read personal stories from physicians and patients about the importance of having a physician anesthesiologist present during medical procedures when seconds can mean the difference between life and death.   Learn More


Preparing for Surgery

If you are preparing for surgery, there are some critical steps you can take to help ensure the best possible outcome:

  • Ask for a physician anesthesiologist to deliver your anesthesia and/or lead your Anesthesia Care Team.
  • As a general rule, you should not eat or drink anything after midnight before your surgery. Under some circumstances, your physician anesthesiologist may give you permission to drink clear liquids up to a few hours before your anesthesia is administered. Be sure to contact your physician, surgeon or hospital for specific rules prior to your procedure.
  • If you smoke and you’re scheduled for surgery, physician anesthesiologists recommend you take immediate steps to quit and remain smoke-free until at least one week following your procedure—or indefinitely. Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do to recover from surgery without complications. People who smoke have an increased chance of complications during and after surgery, including wound infections, pneumonia and heart attacks. The earlier you quit smoking before surgery, the lower your chances of complications.
  • Make arrangements for a responsible adult to take you home after your anesthetic or sedation. You will not be allowed to leave alone or drive yourself home. It is recommended that you have someone stay with you during the first 24 hours. If you have local anesthesia with no sedation, it may be possible to go home without someone to accompany you. Check with your physician first.
  • If you take medication(s) it is important to inform your physician anesthesiologist. Do not interrupt medications unless your physician anesthesiologist or surgeon recommends it.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes that are easy to put on and will fit over bulky bandages or surgical dressings. Leave your jewelry and valuables at home.
  • Learn more