AAOMS: Only trained practitioners should administer anesthesia

In the wake of news reports concerning the possible use of such anesthetic drugs as Diprivan (propofol) by the late Michael Jackson, questions have been raised about the availability and administration of such agents.

The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) and its 8,500 fellows and members who are licensed to practice oral and maxillofacial surgery in the U.S. support the position of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), the AAOMS announced in a press release.

The ASA position on the administration of these agents states that:

"Diprivan, or its generic name propofol, is a drug meant only for use in a medical setting by professionals trained in the provision of general anesthesia. Though the drug is often used for procedures requiring sedation, patients can have extremely variable responses to the drug and some patients can become completely anesthetized, including losing the ability to breathe. Diprivan should never be used outside of a controlled and monitored medical setting."

As the surgical specialists of the dental profession, oral and maxillofacial surgeons are trained in all aspects of anesthesia administration, the AAOMS noted. During training, oral and maxillofacial surgery residents complete a rotation on the medical anesthesiology service, during which they train alongside anesthesiology residents under the supervision of an anesthesiologist.

"Those who complete an oral and maxillofacial surgery residency training program are competent to administer safe and efficient anesthesia in the outpatient setting," the AAOMS stated. "With their training in both patient evaluation and emergency management, they are prepared to address situations they may encounter."

The ASA, the educational, research, and scientific association of physician anesthesiologists, supports the ability of oral and maxillofacial surgeons to safely and competently administer anesthesia in the office-based surgical setting, the AAOMS added.

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