James W. Tom, DDS, has been appointed to serve on the American Society of Anesthesiologists’ Moderate Sedation Task Force. ADA president Carol Gomez Summerhays nominated Tom, a clinical associate professor at the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of the University of Southern California, to help represent dentistry on the panel.
“It’s an exciting opportunity for dentist anesthesiologists to be recognized by the ADA as the anesthesia practitioners with the most directed scope of training and practice in sedation and general anesthesia,” said Tom.
The panel will prepare new national guidelines for sedation use in hospitals, surgical centers, and all clinical settings. It will comprise individuals from dentistry, oral surgery, anesthesiology, radiology, gastroenterology, and emergency medicine.
Together, its members will assess data, peer-reviewed journal articles and studies, and current clinical opinion from subject matter experts to revise the national guidelines, which were first published in 2002 in the journal Anesthesiology.
“It’s an honor for dentist anesthesiologists to be acknowledged by our medical colleagues and welcomed into contemporary policy-making endeavors to ensure patient safety,” said Tom, who earned his DDS from Ostrow in 1999 before pursuing a master’s degree and certificate in dental anesthesiology from Ohio State University in 2001.
Tom teaches courses in intravenous moderate sedation at Ostrow and is the director of the school’s anesthesiology service. Also, he is the president-elect of the American Society of Dentist Anesthesiologists and associate editor of Anesthesia Progress.
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recently released joint guidelines for administering sedation to children. Also, the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety has called for greater awareness of the risks of anesthesia among parents and better employment of safety standards among clinicians.