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Anesthetic equipment and monitoring

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    Posted: 25 Oct 2010 at 6:42am
In modern anesthesia, a wide variety of medical equipment is desirable depending on the necessity for portable field use, surgical operations or intensive care support. Anesthesia practitioners must possess a comprehensive and intricate knowledge of the production and use of various medical gases, anesthetic agents and vapors, medical breathing circuits and the variety of anesthetic machines (including vaporizers, ventilators and pressure gauges) and their corresponding safety features, hazards and limitations of each piece of equipment, for the safe, clinical competence and practical application for day to day practice. The risk of transmission of infection by anesthetic equipment has been a problem since the beginnings of anesthesia. Although most equipment that comes into contact with patients is disposable, there is still a risk of contamination from the anesthetic machine itself or because of bacterial passage through protective filters.

Anesthetic monitoring

Patients under general anesthesia must undergo continuous physiological monitoring to ensure safety. In the UK the Association of Anaesthetists (AAGBI) have set minimum monitoring guidelines for general and regional anesthesia. For minor surgery, this generally includes monitoring of heart rate, oxygen saturation, blood pressure, and inspired and expired concentrations for oxygen, carbon dioxide, and inhalational anesthetic agents. For more invasive surgery, monitoring may also include temperature, urine output, blood pressure, central venous pressure, pulmonary artery pressure and pulmonary artery occlusion pressure, cardiac output, cerebral activity, and neuromuscular function. In addition, the operating room environment must be monitored for ambient temperature and humidity, as well as for accumulation of exhaled inhalational anesthetic agents, which might be deleterious to the health of operating room personnel.


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Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anesthesia
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