Send to

Choose Destination
Hum Factors. 1995 Mar;37(1):20-31.

Situation awareness in anesthesiology.

Author information

Anesthesia Service (112A), Palo Alto VA Medical Center, CA 94304, USA.


Situation awareness has primarily been confined to the aviation field. We believe that situation awareness is an equally important characteristic in the complex, dynamic, and risky field of anesthesiology. We describe three aspects of situations of which the decision maker must remain aware: subtle cues, evolving situations, and special knowledge elements. We provide examples of real or simulated anesthesia situations in which situation awareness is clearly involved in the provision of optimal patient care, and we map the elements of situation awareness onto a cognitive process model of the anesthesiologist. Finally, we consider how situation awareness can be further investigated and taught in this medical domain using anesthesia simulators and analyses of real cases. The study of situation awareness in anesthesiology may provide a good example of the wider application of the concept of situation awareness to nonaerospace environments.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center