World Anaesthesia Day commemorates the first successful demonstration of ether anaesthesia on 16 October 1846, which took place at the Massachusetts General Hospital, home of the Harvard School of Medicine. This ranks as one of the most significant events in the history of medicine and the discovery made it possible for patients to obtain the benefits of surgical treatment without the pain associated with an operation.
5 out of 7 billion people do not have access to safe and affordable anaesthesia and surgical care when needed. This astonishing neglect highlights our shared challenge to work towards realising the WFSA’s mission to improve patient care and access to safe anaesthesia.
The WFSA first produced the International Standards for a Safe Practice of Anaesthesia in June 1992, with revisions ratified in 2008 and 2010. A further revision is underway and there are plans to jointly publish the Standards with the World Health Organisation (WHO).
These standards are agreed and adopted by the General Assembly of the WFSA’s 130 Member Societies and are recommended for anaesthesia professionals throughout the world. They are intended to provide guidance and assistance to anaesthesia professionals, their professional societies, hospital and facility administrators, and governments for improving the quality and safety of anaesthesia care.
It is now more important than ever to promote these standards particularly in areas around the world where they are most challenging due to shortages in workforce, infrastructure, medicines and equipment.
Safe Anaesthesia For Everybody – Today
In order to be able to realise the International Standards for a Safe Practice of Anaesthesia we must first recognise that this is a collaborative effort across governments, industry, civil society and beyond, and also understand where and why they cannot be met. We must “map the gap” in access to safe anaesthesia and use this data to influence advancement in every hospital, and for every patient.
It is not possible for one organisation alone to collect the data needed to drive and influence change, and so the WFSA has launched theSafe Anaesthesia For Everybody – Today “SAFE-T” Campaign to unite individuals, industry and organisations behind a shared mission.
The “SAFE-T Consortium” is a global collaboration of industry and patient focused organisations committed to the advancement of patient safety and the International Standards for a Safe Practice of Anaesthesia. Together with the “SAFE-T Network”, a network of individual anaesthesia providers committed to these goals, these two groups will drive the SAFE-T Campaign.
World Anesthesia Day commemorates the first successful demonstration of ether anesthesia on October 16, 1846.
This ranks as one of the most significant events in the history of Medicine and took place at the Massachusetts General Hospital, home of the Harvard School of Medicine. The discovery made it possible for patients to obtain the benefits of surgical treatment without the pain associated with an operation. The date (16 October) is now globally recognised as World Anesthesia Day.