Anaesthetic Machine and Airway Equipment Essay

Anaesthetic Machine and Airway Equipment Essay

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This essay describes how the anaesthetic machine and airway management equipment are prepared in operating theatres and discusses how they are ensured safe for use. It evaluates the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland (AAGBI) guidelines related to safe practice and the preparation of the ET tubes, laryngeal masks, guedels, Naso pharyngeal airways and the laryngoscope. The function of the anaesthetic workstation is to deliver a mixture of anaesthetic agents and gases safely to the patient during the induction process and throughout surgery. In addition, it also provides ventilation to support breathing and monitors the patient’s vital signs to minimise the anaesthetic risks to the patient whilst in the care of health professionals. The pre-use check is vital to patient safety as an inadequate check of the anaesthetic machine or airway management equipment can and does lead to significant harm of the patient including mortality (Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), 2008 and Magee, 2012).
Due to the complexity and diversity of the modern day anaesthetic machine, each individual manufacturer specifies their own pre-anaesthetic checks. Alongside these manufacturer checks there are also specific guidelines that need to be followed to ensure the correct functioning of anaesthetic equipment and airway management at the start of each day and before each individual procedure. The AAGBI guidelines 2012 (see appendix 1) specify that a routine pre-use check of an anaesthetic machine should be undertaken by a staff member that is appropriately trained to do so; it should be performed in the anaesthetic room to be used and confirmation of these checks should be documented appropriately in the log boo...

... middle of paper ...

...roblem is solved; in the case of the anaesthetic machine being changed for an alternative device the full pre-use check should be performed to ensure correct functioning for the safety of the patient (AAGBI, 2012).

Works Cited

Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland (AAGBI). (2012). Checking anaesthetic equipment 2012. Retrieved from
Chung, DC., & Lam, AM. (1997). Essentials of Anaesthesiology (3rd ed.). Philadelphia: W.B.Saunders Company.
Magee. (2012). Checking anaesthetic equipment: AAGBI 2012 guidelines. Retrieved from
Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). (2008). The Anaesthetic Machine. Retrieved from

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