The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) Physical Status classification system was initially created in 1941 by the American Society of Anesthetists, an organization that later became the ASA.
The purpose of the grading system is simply to assess the degree of a patient’s "sickness" or "physical state" prior to selecting the anesthetic or prior to performing surgery. Describing patients’ preoperative physical status is used for recordkeeping, for communicating between colleagues, and to create a uniform system for statistical analysis. The grading system is not intended for use as a measure to predict operative risk.
The modern classification system consists of six categories, as described below.
ASA Physical Status (PS) Classification System*:
|ASA PS Category
||Preoperative Health Status
|*ASA PS classifications from the American Society of Anesthesiologists
|ASA PS 1
||Normal healthy patient
||No organic, physiologic, or psychiatric disturbance; excludes the very young and very old; healthy with good exercise tolerance
|ASA PS 2
||Patients with mild systemic disease
||No functional limitations; has a well-controlled disease of one body system; controlled hypertension or diabetes without systemic effects, cigarette smoking without chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); mild obesity, pregnancy
|ASA PS 3
||Patients with severe systemic disease
||Some functional limitation; has a controlled disease of more than one body system or one major system; no immediate danger of death; controlled congestive heart failure (CHF), stable angina, old heart attack, poorly controlled hypertension, morbid obesity, chronic renal failure; bronchospastic disease with intermittent symptoms
|ASA PS 4
||Patients with severe systemic disease that is a constant threat to life
||Has at least one severe disease that is poorly controlled or at end stage; possible risk of death; unstable angina, symptomatic COPD, symptomatic CHF, hepatorenal failure
|ASA PS 5
||Moribund patients who are not expected to survive without the operation
||Not expected to survive > 24 hours without surgery; imminent risk of death; multiorgan failure, sepsis syndrome with hemodynamic instability, hypothermia, poorly controlled coagulopathy
|ASA PS 6
||A declared brain-dead patient who organs are being removed for donor purposes
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