ASA Releases Recommendations for Commercial Use of Sedasys




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As a follow-up to our previous blog post, “2014: The Year of the Robot Anesthesiologist,” it is only fitting that we discuss the American Society of Anesthesiologists’ (ASA) guidelines and recommendations that it released Wednesday (Jan. 22, 2014) for Johnson and Johnson’s computer-assisted personalized-sedation (CAPS) system, Sedasys.

Beginning this year, Sedasys is FDA approved for use in colonoscopies and esophageal and colon cancer screenings on a limited basis. After much controversy over the FDA approval and release of this product for commercial use, the focus by many practicing anesthesiologists and anesthesia societies has now turned to using this ground-breaking technology as safe as possible.

According to, ASA president Jane C. K. Fitch, MD was quoted as saying, “As leaders in patient safety, physician anesthesiologists are eager to learn about developments in research and technology that may help advance the specialty. An important part of working with new technology, however, is investigating ways to ensure it is used safely.”

Though an official copy has not yet been made available, some highlights have been released according to the article from, a site that many medical institutions use to share their press releases to a broader audience. Highlights included an array of issues, most notably the proper procedures for quality tracking of Sedasys, standards for quality measurements as defined by the Anesthesia Quality Institute, and an immediate response unit including a physician anesthesiologist always being available in-case of emergencies.

Though some are preparing for the release of Sedasys, many are still completely reserved or even against the technology for the simple fact that computerized sedation lacks the most important thing that only an experienced physician or nurse can have: intuition.

According to Marc Koch, MD, MBA, President and Founder of Somnia Anesthesia, “Medicine is one part art, one part science, and one part intuition that manifests as timely and deft action serving to preclude the unthinkable. Intuition, though, is not a streak of lucky guesses, it is not something a physician or nurse is born with, it is not passed from one generation of clinicians to the next by rote; it is the personal accrual of clinical experiences when cases went as hoped, as well as when they didn’t…Although technology can help support the clinical experience, it is neither an artist, nor a scientist, nor does it behold any intuition beyond the algorithm and binary choice of the moment.” 

With Sedasys approved for commercial use, one can expect many more standards and guidelines, as well as a variety of opinions on the technology’s official release and use on patients.At Somnia Anesthesia, patient safety is the center of which we revolve our entire company and philosophy. Whether or not Sedasys proves a success, we will be monitoring it closely and doing whatever we can to ensure patient safety is never jeopardized. 

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