American Society of Anesthesiologists - Clinical Information

Clinical Information

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DoctorsASA offers members a wealth of resources to stay informed and connected to the latest information about anesthesiology. Our member benefits include access to standards, guidelines, statements and practice parameters that are based on the most up-to-date scientific evidence.

ASA Standards, Guidelines,  Statements and Practice Parameters provide guidance to improve decision-making and promote beneficial outcomes for the practice of anesthesiology. They are not intended as unique or exclusive indicators of appropriate care. The interpretation and application of Standards, Guidelines and Statements takes place within the context of local institutions, organizations and practice conditions. A departure from one or more recommendations may be appropriate if the facts and circumstances demonstrate that the rendered care met the physician's duty to the patient.
Standards provide rules or minimum requirements for clinical practice. They are regarded as generally accepted principles of patient management. Standards may be modified only under unusual circumstances, e.g., extreme emergencies or unavailability of equipment.
Guidelines are systematically developed recommendations that assist the practitioner and patient in making decisions about health care. These recommendations may be adopted, modified, or rejected according to clinical needs and constraints and are not intended to replace local institutional policies. In addition, practice guidelines are not intended as standards or absolute requirements, and their use cannot guarantee any specific outcome. Practice guidelines are subject to revision as warranted by the evolution of medical knowledge, technology, and practice. They provide basic recommendations that are supported by a synthesis and analysis of the current literature, expert opinion, open forum commentary, and clinical feasibility data.
Statements represent the opinions, beliefs, and best medical judgments of the House of Delegates. As such, they are not necessarily subjected to the same level of formal scientific review as ASA Standards or Guidelines. Each ASA member, institution or practice should decide individually whether to implement some, none, or all of the principles in ASA statements based on the sound medical judgment of anesthesiologists participating in that institution or practice.

Practice parameters provide guidance in the form of requirements, recommendations, or other information intended to improve decision-making and promote beneficial outcomes for the practice of anesthesiology. The use of practice parameters cannot guarantee any specific outcome. Practice parameters are subject to periodic revision as warranted by the evolution of medical knowledge, technology and practice. Variance from practice parameters may be acceptable, based upon the judgment of the responsible anesthesiologist.

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