Letters to the Editor: Letters & Announcements
I agree with Dr. Kempen’s (1) comments and share his concern that “Unfortunately, anesthesia in the MRI does NOT uniformly adhere to the basic national standards …” A major concern is that sedation and anesthesia services are provided by practitioners who are unaware of these basic anesthesia standards and thus care is provided in an unsafe and ill-informed fashion. Dr. Kempen helps make the editorial’s point—anesthesiologists are more likely aware of the critical issues and standards than are other practitioners and better able to assure correct care. The situation will improve only when anesthesiologists, aware of these standard practices with their focus on safety, systems, quality, and vigilance, are informing this practice. I in no way meant to imply that anesthesiologists should be providing these services in anything other than the safest fashion with the proper MRI compatible equipment and systems. The solution to the problem is not anesthesiologists, nor anyone else, “making do” and providing substandard care with substandard equipment. Clearly, no matter who directly provides this care, it is our responsibility to insist that it is provided with safe equipment in safe surroundings only, regardless of economic or other issues.
I wholeheartedly endorse Dr. Kempen’s call, as stated in his letter, for modification of the ASA Standards for Basic Anesthesia Monitoring.
Department of Anesthesiology Critical Care Medicine
The Keck School of Medicine
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
The University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA
1. Kempen PM. Let us make MRI anesthesia safe! Anesth Analg 2007;104:1602.