ASA survey: 90% of anesthesia practices saw volumes halved or worse during pandemic

During the pandemic, most physician anesthesiologists have leveraged their expertise in intubation, ventilation strategies and critical care medicine to help treat COVID-19 patients in critical and intensive care units, according to a recent survey by the American Society of Anesthesiologists.

ASA informally surveyed anesthesia administrators and executive members from practices representing more than 4,000 physician anesthesiologists. The survey closed in May.

Three key findings:

1. More than 65 percent of physician anesthesiologists surveyed reported being asked to perform critical care services to help treat COVID-19 patients during the pandemic.

2. More than 90 percent of respondents said their case volume dropped by more than 50 percent since the U.S. declared a national emergency.

3. Case volumes for most respondents were down 70 percent to 80 percent due to the cancellation of elective or nonemergency procedures, "creating a major financial setback for a majority of practice respondents," the ASA said.

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