April 14, 2016
1 min read

ACS updates its statements on principles including stance on concurrent surgeries

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The American College of Surgeons has updated its statements on principles which include the group’s position about the practice of concurrent surgeries performed by a primary attending surgeon.

“A primary attending surgeon’s involvement in concurrent or simultaneous surgeries on two different patients in two different rooms is not appropriate,” according to the statement from the American College of Surgeons (ACS) that notes overlapping of two different operations by the primary surgeon can occur in two instances.

“The first and most common scenario is when the key or critical elements of the first operation have been completed and there is no reasonable expectation that there will be a need for the primary attending surgeon to return to that operation,” according to the statement. In this scenario, another qualified practitioner would perform non-critical aspects of the first procedure while the primary surgeon initiates a procedure on a second patient.

A less common scenario, according to the ACS statement, is when critical portions of a second procedure are being handled by the primary attending surgeon. In such an instance, the surgeon would assign another attending surgeon to handle the first OR.

In either instance, the ACS makes it clear that patients should be informed.

“The performance of overlapping procedures should not negatively impact the seamless and timely flow of either procedure,” according to the statement. ‒ by Christian Ingram