In response to the June 22 article titled PACT: Docs should handle anesthesia:

While I appreciate the attention to the important subject of anesthesia services in Illinois, there are some mistakes that need clarification.

The article states that House Bill 2813 looks to allow certified registered nurse anesthetists to administer anesthesia without doctor supervision. This is false information: Would it surprise you that the Nurse Practice Act of Illinois does not state that CRNAs need to be supervised? How could a bill remove language that does not even exist to begin with? Here is what the Nurse Practice Act states specifically to CRNAs:

“In the case of anesthesia services provided by a certified registered nurse anesthetist, an anesthesiologist, a physician, a dentist, or a podiatric physician must participate through discussion of and agreement with the anesthesia plan and remain physically present and available on the premises during the delivery of anesthesia services for diagnosis, consultation, and treatment of emergency medical conditions.”

House Bill 2813 looks to clarify today's practice of anesthesia by removing the words “physically present.” Today there are only six states that have the language “physically present” in their nurse practice acts. Illinois would like to join the majority of the states not on that list.

One thing this bill will not do is change the way anesthesia is provided throughout the state of Illinois. Hospitals and anesthesia groups are free to continue to operate in whichever fashion they see fit.

Visit www.ILcrna.com for more information.

Michael Almeida, APRN, CRNA


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