A closed-circuit anesthesia machine administers volatile anesthetics for patients during painful surgeries; it also provides oxygenation, ventilation, and electronic monitoring equipment. Unfortunately, even the best machines sometimes run into trouble. Monitors that display vital signs and CO2 levels can stop functioning, ventilators can get blocked, and anesthetic readers can be out of sync. When that happens, it’s important for a technician that specializes in machines for anesthesia services.
Know Your Machine
Modern anesthesia machines consist of three basic areas. High-pressure systems serve as a backup when pipeline supply fails or isn’t available. Intermediate pressure systems receive gas from the hospital pipeline supply, sending it to the flowmeters. Low-pressure systems provide fresh gas flow to the vaporizers that deliver the anesthetics.
Beyond those systems are several other important elements. These include vaporizers, which come in two distinct types: variable bypass or measured flow. These vaporize the anesthetic and get it ready for the patient.
The adjustable pressure limiting valve makes sure gas doesn’t build up if tubing becomes obstructed. An oxygen flush button gives a burst of oxygen to the patient. The carbon dioxide absorbent is a filter that removes CO2 from the system. knowing about each of these components will help you describe the specific issue to the technician, expediting the repairs.
Potential Problem Areas
If your machine uses a closed-circuit breathing system, check for leaks. Common areas include a poor mask seal, dislodged endotracheal tube, and a poorly attached carbon dioxide absorbent canister. Other common problems arise from broken safety systems or incorrectly sequenced flowmeters.
Electrical issues can also cause a variety of problems. If you or your technician have trouble identifying what’s wrong with your machine, a hidden short may be the culprit. Check the entire system to trace the flaw to its source.
Communication Is Key
Your repair technician needs to know the history of your machine to do their best work. Even if it doesn’t seem immediately relevant, your technician might see a connection you don’t. This is particularly true if there are any specialty filters on the machine that may require extra attention.
During the recent pandemic, some organizations converted their anesthetic machines to work as substitute ICU ventilators. If one of these machines needs repair, please consult with the technician about the best course of action. They should be aware of any relevant manufacturer’s guidelines.
New vs Refurbished Machines
Technology moves fast, and anesthesia machines move right along with it. Still, even older and refurbished machines can be useful for patients. The right repair service should have access to the necessary parts for both new and obsolete machines. This helps anesthetic services get the most out of all their equipment for as long as possible, no matter how old it is.
The person repairing your anesthesia machine needs to know exactly what they’re doing. The AAMI Foundation is the leading organization for health technology professionals, including those who repair anesthesia machines. They have rigorous certification standards for all repair technicians.
Certification is also available for the most common brands of medical equipment, including GE and Mindray. Both organizations offer classes with hands-on experience for those operating, maintaining, and repairing anesthetic equipment. Make sure your technician can show you all these certifications.
Anesthesia service providers must prove they keep their machines running to the highest standards. The best proof of this is complete documentation on any maintenance or repairs. Ideally, this should be in the form of an easily accessible online service portal.
Documentation also helps anesthesia services keep their machines running smoothly. Paperwork can show the machines’ repair history, highlighting any persistent problems the device might have suffered. In some cases, repeated repairs will highlight underlying issues others might have missed.
Finding Anesthesia Services
If you’re looking for anesthesia services to repair your machine, check out knowledgeable providers in your area. They have a detailed breakdown of care options available for all levels of anesthesia services.