ASA Drug Shortage Survey: Effects on Anesthesia Practice, Patients

April 25, 2012 | Strategic Insights for Health System


Ninety-eight percent of the respondents to the March 2012 American Society of Anesthesiologists’ (ASA) Drug Shortage Survey indicated that they were experiencing a shortage of at least one anesthesia-related drug. According to the society, their data supports the results from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on drug shortages (see the December 21, 2011, HRC Alerts), which found that anesthetic and central nervous system drugs are among those experiencing the highest frequency of shortages at 23% of all shortages. The ASA survey results revealed that the anesthesia drugs with the highest frequency of reported shortages were fentanyl (66%), thiopental (40%), succinylcholine (21%), propofol (19%), and pancuronium (15%).

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