Having access to a functional anesthesia machine is critical to the safety and effectiveness of your veterinary practice. Anesthesia is used during emergency surgeries and routine procedures alike, so it's essential that your machine is ready to perform at a moment's notice.
Routine maintenance will help to ensure the function and reliability of your anesthesia machine so that you can rest assured knowing your animal patients will be cared for properly during surgical procedures.
1. Check for obstructions prior to each use.
If you want anesthetic gases to flow freely for the duration of your surgery, you need to ensure that there are no blockages within your anesthesia machine that might prevent gases from flowing properly.
Prior to each surgery, take the time to place your thumb over the end of the patient's circuit outlet. Engage the flowmeter and switch off the gas evacuation valve. You should feel a steady stream of gas flowing against your thumb if the machine is working properly.
If you don't feel an appropriate gas stream, you will need to disassemble the anesthesia machine and give it a thorough cleaning to remove any blockages prior to use.
2. Check for potential leaks in the anesthesia system.
Leaks within your anesthesia machine could result in improper anesthetization that might lead to severe pain or death for your patients. Allowing gas to leak out during surgery also places you and your veterinary technicians at risk of exposure.
With your thumb covering the patient's circuit outlet and the flowmeter engaged, press down the oxygen flush button. As you press the oxygen flush button firmly, keep a close eye on the manometer gauge. The pressure reading of the gauge should not drop. If the pressure does drop, this is an indication there is a leak within your system.
Common sources of leaks can include a deteriorating O-ring at the fresh gas outlet, cracks in the patient's circuit outlet, and holes in the regulator bag. Replace these components and conduct a second manometer pressure test to ensure the leak has been resolved prior to using the machine on a patient.
Being able to properly maintain your anesthesia machine is critical to the operation of your veterinary practice. Taking the time to regularly check for proper gas flow and identify any potential blockages or leaks that may compromise the performance of your anesthesia machine will help you reduce the number of anesthesia-related problems during your surgical procedures. Contact a company, like Keebovet, for more help.