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Report on Public Forum

Ether anaesthesia was first demonstrated to facilitate painless surgery on October 16, 1846. This significant date (16 October) is now globally recognised as World Anaesthesia Day.

On 17th October 2015, Singapore Society of Anaesthesiologists (SSA) celebrated the 169th anniversary of World Anaesthesia Day by holding a public awareness forum on “Reducing Risks in Anaesthesia” at The Academia, Singapore General Hospital.

The organising committee for the forum included anaesthesia specialists and residents from all the restructured hospitals, the private sector and 2 students from Dukes Postgraduate Medical School (Josephine Tan, Loh May-Han, Naville Chia, Justinian Zai, Choo Wee Sen, Geraldine Cheong, Zheng Zhongxi, Zheng Jinxi, Tracy Tan, Melissa Chan, Darryl Tan, Lee Shu Ying, Jessie Tan, Teddy Fabila , Terry Pan, Tay Woo Chiao, Aaron Lee).

The forum was planned with a carnival spirit to engage the public to learn about anaesthesia in a fun manner. Lectures were delivered in both English and Mandarin by specialists from Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, KK Hospital, National University Hospital, Singapore General Hospital and Tan Tock Seng Hospital. Some of the topics covered included preparation for general anaesthesia, postoperative cognitive dysfunction in the elderly, epidural analgesia for labour and general anaesthesia risks in young children.


Preparing for Surgery: What You Need to Know?Flora Yuan
Heart Attack- How to Decrease your RiskTerry Pan
Confusion after Anaesthesia and SurgeryDaniel Phang
Nervous about Pain after Operation?Bin Wern Hsien
Must Labour be Painful?Cheng Shang Ming
Caesarean Section- To Sleep or Not to Sleep?Lim Tian Jin
Why does My Child Not Recognize Me after Anaesthesia?Siow Yew Nam
Will My Child Remember his ABCs after Surgery?Teddy Fabila
Are there Long Term Effects on My Child?Bong Choon Looi


The event also included cardiopulmonary resuscitation and automated external defibrillator demonstrations by the Dispatcher-Assisted first REsponder (DARE) programme, demonstration of equipment used in anaesthesia such as the pulse oximeter (Massimo), videolaryngoscopes (Karl Storlz) and ultrasound (Sonosite), exhibition of education posters on common anaesthesia facts, and screening of education videos. There was also an Operating Theatre (supported by GE) mockup where the public could “ Be an Anaesthetist for a Day!” for photo opportunities, and mini health screening (blood pressure and body mass index) stations.

SSA had partnered Health Promotion Board and a booth was set up to educate the public on how they can seek assistance to quit smoking. Other partners included commercial pharmacies who sponsored face masks, toothpaste, alcohol handrubs and vitamins. Together with a Singapore Press Holdings health magazine, these sponsored items were distributed in goodie bags to registered participants. Teddy bears in scrub suits were up for sale at the event, with SSA matching dollar to dollar from sale proceeds to be donated to the Breast Cancer Foundation.

Volunteers at the event included anaesthesia nurses from National University Hospital and Tan Tock Seng Hospital. Students from Dukes postgraduate medical school were also present to help at the mini health screening stations.

The event was very well received with many of the 170 registered participants keen to see it being repeated in the following year.

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