How to Check Your Anesthesia Machine for Leaks
One of the most important pieces of equipment in a hospital is the anesthesia machine. These machines deliver medication to patients so that doctors can perform surgery on them pain-free. Anesthesia machines are among the most important inventions in human history. Before their invention, patients were subject to painful surgeries while awake. Imagine having a limb amputated while awake. Anesthesia machines deliver the correct amount of anesthesia so that a patient will remain asleep throughout any procedure. Like any machine though, they require maintenance and daily inspections to make sure they are functioning properly. Leaks are the bane of anesthesia machines. A leak anywhere will decrease the amount of gas delivered to the patient. Leaks are a danger to the patient and a waste of gasses that the hospital must pay for. Here’s how to check your anesthesia machine for leaks so you can prevent loss.
Leaks Are Not Uncommon
Leaks can come from a few places, and the main ones are the canister and the hoses. For this reason, the machine should be checked daily for leaks. If any leaks are discovered, they should be addressed immediately. There is a basic leak test you can do. Start by closing the pop-off valve, then put your thumb over the end of the anesthesia hose. Press the oxygen flush valve to fill the reservoir bag to a pressure of 20 centimeters. Then, just wait a few seconds to see if the needle on the pressure gauge drops. If it does, then you have a leak. You can check two bags at once by using a second one instead of your thumb. Place a bag at the end of the hose instead of blocking it with your thumb. Push the oxygen flush valve to fill both bags to 20 centimeters. After checking your anesthesia machine for leaks, any problems should be addressed right away. This should be done before every shift in the interest of patient safety and the performance of the machine.
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