2015 National Anaesthesia Day

obesity-thumbnail-FINAL.gifAnaesthesia and obesity 

"Obesity complicates anaesthesia".


This is the message for 2015 National Anaesthesia Day, which is being held throughout Australia and New Zealand on October 16, the anniversary of the day in 1846 that ether anaesthesia was first demonstrated in Boston, Massachusetts. 


This year for National Anaesthesia Day obese patients are being encouraged to find out how they can reduce their risks.


The most important message for them is that there is something they can do – to start with, they should talk to their medical team, including their anaesthetist.


Patients should know that excess weight has a number of associated diseases, including diabetes and heart disease; increases the risks of many operations; makes it more difficult to keep airways open and makes it more difficult to manage pain.


National Anaesthesia Day 2015 – what's happening?

The aim of National Anaesthesia Day is to lift the community profile of the specialty. This is achieved through face-to-face interactions between anaesthetists and the public and a media campaign co-ordinated by ANZCA's Communications unit.


In September, ANZCA will again be sending kits to hospitals, private practices and others on its database. These will contain "Obesity complicates anaesthesia posters" posters and other promotional materials, including the "Who is your anaesthetist (an-ees-the-tist)?" flyer and a fact sheet.


2015 fact sheet thumbnail 
2015 National Anaesthesia Day poster 
(full-size posters mailed).
Click here for a copy.
2015 National Anaesthesia Day fact sheet 
(sample mailed)
Click here for a copy.
"Who is your anaesthetist?" flyer
(sample mailed).
Click here for a copy.
National Anaesthesia Day posters now include the line "Anaesthetists – caring for the body and its breath of life", a translation of the ANZCA coat of arms motto Corpus curare spiritumque as inspiration.


On October 16, a brief survey will be sent to all Fellows to assess the impact of obesity on anaesthesia. The survey aims to establish how common obesity is as a pre-existing condition for anaesthetists and its effect on perioperative risks. 


What hospitals can do

To get involved in National Anaesthesia Day, hospitals are encouraged to do one or more of the following:

  • Set up a foyer display using collateral being sent by the College (posters, balloons) and have staff available to answer questions from the public.
  • Run demonstrations using mannequins and other equipment, especially if they demonstrate the impact of obesity.
  • Display the National Anaesthesia Day poster throughout the hospital and/or in consulting rooms.
  • Print and distribute ANZCA's web-based patient information sheets.

Why have National Anaesthesia Day?

Community Attitudes Survey commissioned by ANZCA in 2013 found that, despite 96 per cent of people reporting experience of a general anaesthetic (personally or through a close family member) many were unaware of the training or qualifications of anaesthetists.


Communications team

ANZCA's Communications team is available to support or discuss any initiative for National Anaesthesia Day via Media Manager, Ebru Yaman at communications@anzca.edu.au or + 61 3 8517 5303. In New Zealand, NZ Communications Manager, Susan Ewart, is also available at 

communications@anzca.org.nz or +64 4 499 1213.





Copyright © Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists.