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Anaesthetic Machine And Airway Equipment Essay

1135 words - 5 pages

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 book and kept with the machine. As well as these individual checks the anaesthetic machines should be routinely serviced and the ‘first user’ check recorded to ensure the machine has been reassembled correctly (AAGBI, 2012). A routine safety check of the anaesthetic machine involves a thorough examination of each component of the machine and a quick run through is not acceptable. It is also important to pay close attention to any information or labelling that may be on the machine that could describe any faults, problems, updates or warnings.
Anaesthetic machines may perform their own safety checks automatically when switched on and it is important to be aware of the processes that are checked and those that need to be checked manually. The first stage of the pre-use safety check in accordance with the AAGBI guidelines (2012) is to ensure there is an alternative source of oxygen available such as a Bag-Valve-Mask (BVM).The BVM should be checked for safety and sterility by ensuring there are no punctures, obstructions or visible contamination and that there is an unused face mask attached to the filter. The manufacturer’s checks should then be carried out and a check of the power supply to ensure all cables are plugged in...

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