American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

ACS in the News 2016

December 2016

At the Cutting Edge
Virginian-Pilot, December 12, 2016

"A colleague and acquaintance for about 20 years, Dr. Patricia Turner, a clinical associate professor at the University of Chicago, said Britt’s teaching style will push you 'to achieve the highest level of understanding that you can.'...Turner leads a division of the American College of Surgeons. Britt is a past president of that organization. In the industry, if Britt calls to offer a recommendation, Turner said, 'you really take that quite seriously.'" 

November 2016

How Surgeons Stay Focused for Hours
Wall Street Journal, November 16, 2016

“Studies have shown rising levels of stress and burnout among physicians, especially surgeons. An analysis of research on the topic, published recently in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, found that burnout rates among all doctors ranged from 37% to 53%, with surgeons close to the top of the list. Burnout often involves feelings of depression and alienation and leads to sharply reduced job satisfaction.”

Age may not affect breast reconstruction complications
Reuters, November 9, 2016

“As survival rates improve, more women are living longer after breast cancer treatment and more are seeking mastectomies and breast reconstruction, the study authors write in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons. Despite this trend, women over 60 are less likely to receive reconstruction.”

Trauma burden and services not equally distributed across U.S.
Business Insider, November 3, 2016

“Trauma centers are designated levels I through V based on the kinds of resources available there. Level I centers can provide total care for every aspect of injury while Level V centers have basic emergency department facilities and can prepare patients to be transferred to higher levels of care.

Level I and II centers were more often located in the Mid Atlantic and South Atlantic regions and in larger cities, according to the results in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.”

October 2016

Trauma: a neglected US public health emergency
The Lancet, October 29, 2016

“In the USA, the leading cause of death in those younger than 45 years is trauma, accounting for over half of deaths in that age group. Trauma costs the USA up to US$600 billion each year and yet despite these sobering figures this epidemic goes largely unrecognised. Last week, at their 2016 Clinical Congress, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) announced a commitment to achieving zero preventable deaths from trauma. If realised, this goal would save one in five civilians and a quarter of military personnel currently killed by trauma, an estimated 30 000 lives per year in the USA alone.”

Weight-Loss Surgery May Lower Risk of Pregnancy Complications
U.S. News & World Report, October 28, 2016

“According to study co-author Brittanie Young, a medical student at the Philadelphia School of Osteopathic Medicine, ‘If the child is less at risk of being very large for its gestational age, the woman is less likely to have a C-section.’

The findings were presented recently at the Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons, in Washington D.C. Research presented at meetings should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.”

Follow-up Imaging Lacking for Many After Breast Cancer Surgery
Medscape, October 27, 2016

“About one third of US women who receive surgical treatment for breast cancer are not receiving appropriate follow-up, new research suggests.

Findings from the National Cancer Database were presented here at the American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress 2016 by surgery resident Taiwo Adesoye, MD, MPH, from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.”

Tweet of the Week: Surgeons Look Like
MedPage Today, October 23, 2016

“Surgeons spun #WhatADoctorLooksLike from last week into an opportunity to highlight gender disparities among surgeons during the annual gatherings of the Association of Women Surgeons (#AWS2016) and American College of Surgeons (#ACSCC16).”

Why don't more women of color have reconstruction after breast cancer?
Philadelphia Inquirer, October 25, 2016

“[Paris Butler, MD, MPH,] who specializes in plastic and reconstructive surgery, has documented the problem nationally and investigated the role of private vs. public insurance in determining which patients receive reconstructive surgery.  While his work has found that insurance status and geographic availability to plastic surgeons likely play a role in the disparities, ‘we strongly believe it’s something about patients’ race and ethnicity that goes beyond insurance status and access to care.’ Recently, we asked him a few questions about his work, which he presented to the American College of Surgeons in D.C. on October 20th.”

Trauma Patients Not to Blame for Opioid Epidemic: Study
HealthDay, October 19, 2016

“Almost 75 percent of major trauma patients who were prescribed narcotic painkillers such as OxyContin and Percocet had stopped using them a month after leaving the hospital. And only 1 percent were still taking the drugs on a prescription basis a year later, researchers found.

‘We were really surprised by how low the numbers were for long-term opiate use,’ study senior investigator Dr. Andrew Schoenfeld said in an American College of Surgeons news release.”

Rates of preventive mastectomy doubled in a decade, and fear is a factor
United Press International, October 18, 2016

“Fear of cancer recurrence seems to be a primary reason why breast cancer patients choose to have their cancer-free breast removed at the same time as their affected breast, a new study finds…The study is to be presented Tuesday at a meeting of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) in Washington, D.C.”

Minimally invasive surgery a safe option for major liver cases, UW study finds
Seattle Times, October 17, 2016

“The odds of serious complications or death in patients who had surgeries known as major hepatectomies using minimally invasive techniques were about half those of patients who had conventional surgeries, according to an analysis by Dr. Lucas Thornblade, a UW Medicine general-surgery resident, and colleagues…‘We are encouraged by the results,’ said Thornblade, lead author of the study presented Monday at the 2016 Congress of the American College of Surgeons.”

September 2016

Study: Bariatric surgery safe, effective but could be improved
United Press International, September 26, 2016

"A newer form of weight loss surgery that reduces the size of the stomach by about 75 percent was found to be safe and have a low rate of morbidity, according to new research by the American College of Surgeons...Multiple studies have shown the procedure to be safe and effective, but researchers at ACS decided to use a new database of bariatric surgery outcomes to examine the outcome of several different techniques."

ONC Playbook aims to help practices navigate changing HIT landscape
FierceHealthcare, September 26, 2016

“IT issues have taken on greater relevance for small practices as value-based reimbursement gains steam, per FiercePracticeManagement’s previous reporting. While EHRs have historically been a point of frustration for practices, their potential link to better patient outcomes makes them a key strategic element as small practices look to navigate the emerging requirements around the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act. Frank Opelka, medical director for quality and health policy at the American College of Surgeons, called the playbook “a superb navigational tool for assisting surgeons" with MACRA looming.”

New Website Created to Inform Public About Bleeding Control
EMS World, September 21, 2016

“The American College of Surgeons and the Hartford Consensus have launched a new website that aims to provide a one-stop online resource for users to learn about bleeding control. provides diagrams, news, videos and other resources with the goal of giving information to the public to learn proper bleeding control techniques.”

Suicide risk in patients with head and neck cancer: An area of urgent need

Healio, September 10, 2016

“Psychosocial distress also is underrecognized. The American College of Surgeons and leading interdisciplinary organizations call for the integration of distress screening into cancer care. Screening is effective when implemented within a system that facilitates treatment. New approaches to treatment are needed.”

August 2016

Follow-ups via telephone safe & effective for certain patients: 5 insights
Becker’s Infection Control & Clinical Quality, August. 22, 2016

“Establishing a postoperative clinic via the telephone helped significantly improve utilization of surgeon and facility resources while maintaining patient outcomes at a Veterans Affairs facility, according to a study published by the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.”

Helmets prevent severe head injuries in bike accidents

Reuters, August 19, 2016

“Using the American College of Surgeons' National Trauma Data Bank, the researchers analyzed records of 6,267 people treated in 2012 for bleeding inside the skull after a bicycle accident.

One quarter of patients had been wearing a bicycle helmet at the time of their accident. Just over half of the patients had severe traumatic brain injuries and 3 percent died.

Researchers found that people wearing helmets had 52 percent lower risk of severe TBI, compared to unhelmeted riders, and a 44 percent lower risk of death.”

Hospitals are throwing out organs and denying transplants to keep their success rates high
Business Insider, August 11, 2016

“The study by Bozorgzadeh, published by the American College of Surgeons, found that the increasing reluctance to perform transplants on the sickest patients is directly tied to the onset of the standards enforced by CMS.

In the first five years after adoption of the standards, more than 4,300 transplant candidates were removed from waiting lists by hospitals. That's up 86 percent from the 2,311 patients delisted in the five years prior to the regulation.”

4 points on the National Surgical Patient Safety Summit & new surgical safety recommendations
Becker’s Infection Control & Clinical Quality, August 8, 2016

“The summit is a two-day event that includes more than 100 representatives from medical professional associations, insurers, healthcare systems, payers and government agencies. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and American College of Surgeons sponsored the summit.”

For obesity surgery, consider accredited centers
Reuters, August 2, 2016

“Morton and colleagues report in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons that in 10 of the 13 studies, accreditation made a significant difference. Six of the eight studies that reported mortality showed a significant reduction at the accredited centers; the risk of death was two to three times higher at hospitals that weren’t accredited.”

Some cancer patients may also struggle with depression
Miami Herald, August 1, 2016

"Oncology providers have become increasingly concerned about the emotional well-being of their patients. In fact, in 2015, the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer started requiring cancer centers to ask their patients if they are having emotional distress."

July 2016

Loss of independence post-surgery linked to poor outcomes
Reuters, July 22, 2016

"For surgery patients over age 65, losing function or mobility or needing more care after surgery is linked to a higher risk of being readmitted to the hospital or dying, according to a new study.

Almost 60 percent of patients lose at least some of their independence after surgery, said lead author Dr. Julia R. Berian of the American College of Surgeons in Chicago, Illinois."

New Initiative Aims to Combat Disparities in Surgical Care, Outcomes
Medical Ethics Advisor, July 1, 2016

"A new initiative to support research on disparities in surgical care and outcomes for disadvantaged populations was recently launched by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. The initiative will provide grant opportunities on surgical disparities research.

The research will focus on the following five priorities, which were identified at the May 2015 Inaugural National Institutes of Health (NIH)-American College of Surgeons (ACS) Symposium on Surgical Disparities Research Symposium."

June 2016

Free tourniquet training open to the public
9NEWS, June 19, 2016

The Denver Health Paramedic Division is offering free Bleeding Control (B-Con) courses to the Denver community June 20-23. The skills taught in the B-Con course are consistent with the recommendations of the ACS-led Hartford Consensus, which advocates that “no one should die from uncontrolled bleeding.”

With Active-Shooter Events on the Rise, Advocates Say Everyone Should Know How to Stop Bleeding
U.S. News & World Report, June 14, 2016

"The realization that many people are dying who might be saved prompted [Lenworth M.] Jacobs [MD, FACS], a leader of the American College of Surgeons, to propose that the world's largest surgeons' organization take action. The group formed a committee made up of representatives of government, law enforcement, defense and medical officials to develop a national policy designed to increase survival from active shooter and mass casualty events."

Phoenix shows support for Orlando shooting victims [news story]
Cronkite News 06/14/2016 [video]
Cronkite News, June 13, 2016

“Sydney Vail [MD, FACS], a Phoenix doctor who treated four victims of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, in which 32 people were killed, carries a trauma kit around his ankle, just in case.

Dr. Vail, who heads the trauma division at Maricopa Medical Center, said he believes Arizona is prepared to handle a major event like the one in Orlando.”

May 2016

Public use of tourniquets, bleeding control kits
EMS1, May 31, 2016

“The American College of Surgeons convened a special committee to identify changes necessary to improve survival following active shooter and MCIs. One of the major themes to emerge from these series of meetings, known as the Hartford Consensus, is that the public will act as responders to provide aid before the arrival of professional rescuers.

Another major theme of the Hartford Consensus, which was the focus of the second Hartford Consensus Conference, is the value of a comprehensive educational program for all members of this trauma chain of survival. Critical to this concept and the focus of third Hartford Consensus Conference, is educational campaigns targeting members of the general public, which should include training on how to apply direct pressure, how to use hemostatic dressings, and how to apply tourniquets.”

Colon cancer rising in people under 50
CBS News, May 25, 2016

“Colon and rectal (colorectal) cancer is the third most common cancer, according to the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI). The NCI estimates there will be more than 134,000 new cases in 2016. Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths, second only to lung cancer, the NCI reports.
For the study, Sutton and colleagues reviewed data on more than 1 million colorectal cancer cases listed in the National Cancer Database from 2004 to 2013.”

‘Cut suits’ give a slice of realism to training
San Diego Union-Tribune, May 24, 2016

“The American College of Surgeons also has called for better emergency training, and in 2008 it launched a Trauma Quality Improvement Program. The National Trauma Institute estimates that traumatic injuries kill about 190,000 Americans per year and account for about 2.3 million hospitalizations.”

People With HIV Are Less Likely To Get Needed Cancer Treatment

NPR, May 20, 2016

“The study used the National Cancer Database to analyze treatment for adults younger than 65 who were diagnosed with any of the 10 most common cancers to affect HIV patients between 2003 and 2011. The study included 10,265 HIV-infected adults and 2.2 million without HIV.

The database, which is sponsored by the American Cancer Society and the American College of Surgeons, captures roughly 70 percent of newly diagnosed cancer cases in the United States.”

Children in car crashes fare better at pediatric trauma centers, study says
United Press International, May 20, 2016

"For the study, published in the Journal of Pediatric Surgery, researchers reviewed medical data for 28,145 patients under age 18 collected for the National Trauma Data Bank between 2009 and 2012, estimating quality of care for children hurt in a car accident at pediatric and general adult trauma centers."

One surgeon says you need an operation. Another says you don't. Here's why that happens.
Vox, May 19, 2016

“One possibility is using a risk calculator, like this one developed by the American College of Surgeons: It takes high-quality data from millions of patients around the country who have had similar operations and uses variables — such as how sick a patient is and the patient's age — to come up with estimates on the risks of surgery.”

The Government Spends $5 Billion a Year On Cancer—So Why Hasn’t It Been Cured Yet?
Men’s Health, May 4, 2016

“Melanoma, meanwhile, often returns years later, even after that 5-year mark. More than one in 20 patients have a recurrence a decade after their first diagnosis, according to a study in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.”

April 2016

Puerto Rico is losing a doctor a day
CNN Money, April 13, 2016

“‘I have a hard time recruiting. We can't compete with institutions in the U.S.,’ says Dr. Fernando Luis Joglar. He's a vascular surgeon and president of the American College of Surgeons Puerto Rico Chapter.”

Most Americans want to learn how to help those injured in disasters
United Press International, April 5, 2016

"Among respondents with first aid training, 98 percent said they would be very or somewhat likely to attempt to control severe bleeding from a leg wound in a family member. A random sample of respondents found that 61 percent would be very likely and 31 percent somewhat likely to try to stop severe bleeding in a car crash victim they didn't know.

The survey results were published online recently in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons."

March 2016

How to Spot and Treat a Child’s Hernia
New York Times, March 28, 2016

“According to the American College of Surgeons, an open repair is needed by about 1 percent of children born full-term, 15 percent of those born prematurely and 20 percent of those who experienced an incarceration.”

More women with cancer in one breast are having double mastectomies. That might not be a good idea. 
Washington Post, March 7, 2016

“The Duke study echoes the findings of a study presented last year at a conference of the American College of Surgeons. That study found that for younger women with early-stage, non-inherited cancer in one breast, a single mastectomy leads to a slightly higher quality of life and lower costs over the two decades, compared with CPMs.”

Antibiotics instead of appendectomy? UW study may be ‘game changer’
Seattle Times, March 6, 2016

“A review led by UW researchers and published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons this year found that, despite the European trials, it’s still too early to change the U.S. standard to a drugs-first approach.”

The way we think about cancer is outdated. Here’s how to change that.

Vox, March 2, 2016

“The psychological effects of cancer are in fact so widespread that the American College of Surgeons recently required all accredited cancer centers to screen for the level of cancer distress in new patients and then offer psychosocial care to match patients' needs.”

January 2016

Frail patients more likely to die in the year after surgery
Reuters, January 26, 2016

"Frailty increases the risk of death, complications, longer hospital stay and discharge to a nursing facility, but does not exclude anyone from a particular operation, [Dr. Jason M.] Johanning told Reuters Health by email.

'Rather it gives the operative team the ability to have an open and frank discussion with the patient about their goals of care and what to expect and how to proceed when complications occur postoperatively,' he said.

The American College of Surgeons in connection with the John A. Hartford Foundation is designing a program to address these system issues, he said."

New Standards Seek to Improve Children's Surgical Care
Hospitals & Health Networks, January 26, 2016

"As new technology dominates the headlines in the personalization of health care, allocating hospital resources and providing hospital standards are also an important part of moving health care into the future. The American College of Surgeons in collaboration with the Task Force for Children’s Surgical Care released its updated standards for 2016, Optimal Resources for Children’s Surgical Care to do just that.  The document is central to providing improved surgical care and customized attention children patients need. And with more than five million infants and children to undergo a surgical procedure in the U.S. annually, according to the same report, developing adequate surgical standards for children is a crucial goal."

Joint Guideline Addresses Geriatric Perioperative Care
Medscape, January 11, 2016

"The American College of Surgeons (ACS) and American Geriatrics Society (AGS) have issued joint best practice recommendations for geriatric perioperative care. The consensus-based guideline was published online January 4 on the ACS National Surgical Quality Improvement Program website."