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Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 1995 May;39(4):563-7.

A simplified concept for controlling oxygen mixtures in the anaesthetic machine--better, cheaper and more user-friendly?

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Department of Clinical Engineering, National Hospital, University of Oslo, Norway.


Modern anaesthetic machines are equipped with several safety components to prevent delivery of hypoxic mixtures. However, such a technical development has increased the complexity of the equipment. We report a reconstructed anaesthetic machine in which a paramagnetic oxygen analyzer has provided the means to simplify the apparatus. The new machine is devoid of several components conventionally included to prevent hypoxic mixtures: oxygen failure protection device, reservoir O2 alarm, N2O/air selector, and proportioning system for oxygen/nitrous oxide delivery. These devices have been replaced by a simple safety system using a paramagnetic oxygen analyzer at the common gas outlet, which in a feed-back system cuts off the supply of nitrous oxide whenever the oxygen concentration falls below 25%. The simplified construction of the anaesthetic machine has important consequences for safety, cost and user-friendliness. Reducing the complexity of the construction also simplifies the pre-use checkout procedure, and an efficient 5-point check list is presented for the new machine.

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