The 2016 John W. Severinghaus Lecture on Translational Science will focus on improving patient safety outcomes – specifically a postoperative mortality rate that remains stubbornly high, and how anesthesia can reduce major complications and save lives. It will also discuss factors that slow progression of new knowledge from bench to bedside — and how basic scientists, clinical investigators and clinicians can speed the process.

According to Severinghaus lecturer Daniel I. Sessler, M.D., the specialty of anesthesiology deserves praise for its work in reducing mortality during surgery, but it needs to apply similar efforts beyond the O.R.

“Anesthesiologists have remarkably reduced preventable intraoperative mortality,” Dr. Sessler said. “In contrast, mortality in the 30 days after surgery remains high and is a thousand times as common. To the extent that we contribute to postoperative mortality or can moderate it – that...

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