Anesthetists, who spend more time in operating rooms, are responsible for protecting the anesthetized and unconscious patients from a multitude of possible dangers during anesthesia and surgery. Some of these threats are unique to the operating room. As a result, the anesthetist is primarily responsible for ensuring the proper functioning of the operating room's medical gases, environmental factors (e.g, temperature, humidity, ventilation, and noise), and electrical safety by which patient as well as the health care team safety will be maintained.

The key factors in the prevention of patient injury are vigilance, up-to-date knowledge, and adequate monitoring. Physiologic monitoring of cardiopulmonary function, combined with monitoring of equipment function, might be expected to reduce anesthetic injury to a minimum. One of risk management tool is the use of checklists prior to each case, or at least daily, in an attempt to reduce equipment-related mishaps. A regular schedule of equipment maintenance should be established as well as procedures to follow when ever equipment malfunction is suspected of contributing to patient injury. Anesthesia machine, vaporizer, breathing system and other anesthetic equipment in the anesthesia work station should be made functionally tested and ready for use at any time.

Equipment should be cleaned, disinfected or sterilized according to the level of contamination and the types of equipment or discarded after use if it is disposable one. Preventing patient from any source of contamination and infection should be remembered before any procedure.

In this module you will learn how to handle medical gasses, introduced with anesthesia machine and its component parts and breathing systems, testing anesthesia equipments using check list, applying decontamination, disinfection and cleaning procedures on anesthetic equipment, and maintaining patient safety by preventing hazards. Therefore, this module will equip you with the necessary knowledge, skill and the right attitude in preparing and maintaining safe work environment.

To use compressed gas cylinders safely, it is important that they are stored properly, handled correctly, used with the correct equipment, and that the properties of the gases they contain are fully understood. The medical gases commonly used in operating rooms are oxygen, nitrous oxide and air. Patients are endangered if medical gas systems, particularly oxygen, malfunction. The main features of using compressed oxygen systems are the sources of the gases and the means of their delivery to the operating room. In general using medical gas cylinders is safe. There is however the potential for a serious accident if the gas cylinder or the attachments are not treated properly. The anesthetist must understand both these elements to prevent and detect medical gas depletion or supply line misconnection. Anesthesia machines have gas inlets for oxygen, nitrous oxide, and air. Separate inlets are provided for the primary pipeline gas supply that passes through the walls of healthcare facilities and the secondary cylinder gas supply. Machines therefore have two gas inlet pressure gauges for each gas one for pipeline pressure and another for cylinder pressure. This session will give you the necessary knowledge, skill and right attitude in using medical gases safely; understand properties of gas, measurement and identification of gas in a cylinder and handling of compressed and empty gas cylinder.

Last modified: Tuesday, 15 November 2016, 3:59 PM