APSF News & Updates

American Society of Anesthesiologists and the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation Statement on Perioperative Testing for the COVID-19 Virus

August 4, 2021

The Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation (APSF) previously published examples of SARS-CoV-2 preoperative testing protocols from around the U.S.

Recently, the APSF and the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) informally surveyed these same medical centers and others to learn how their testing protocols might have evolved through July 2021, with specific attention to their approach to preoperative testing for patients who have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19. In almost all cases, these leading institutions continue to require COVID preoperative testing for all patients, including those who have been fully vaccinated. The primary concerns are that the prevalence of the delta variant is increasing in their communities, and the recent findings by the CDC regarding breakthrough infections in fully vaccinated, asymptomatic individuals who have the potential of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 to others. Therefore, all patients undergoing a non-emergent anesthetic, procedure, or surgery with the potential to generate aerosols should continue to have preoperative PCR testing for SARS-CoV-2, ideally ≤ three days prior to the procedure, irrespective of vaccination status.