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Anaesth Intensive Care. 1993 Oct;21(5):570-4.

The Australian Incident Monitoring Study. The oxygen analyser: applications and limitations--an analysis of 200 incident reports.

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Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, University of Adelaide, S.A.


The first 2000 incidents reported to the Australian INcident Monitoring Study were analysed with respect to the role of the oxygen analyser; 27 (1%) were first detected by the oxygen analyser. All of these were amongst the 1256 incidents which occurred in association with general anaesthesia, of which 48% were "human detected" and 52% "monitor detected". The oxygen analyser was ranked 7th and detected 4% of these monitor detected incidents. This figure would have been much higher had the oxygen analyser been correctly used on more occasions. The oxygen analyser detected 10 ventilator-driving-gas leaks into the circuit, 6 hypoxic mixtures due to rotameter settings, 3 inappropriate nitrous oxide concentrations, 2 disconnections and 1 leak at the common gas outlet, and 2 partial and 1 total failure of ventilation. In a theoretical analysis of these 1256 incidents it was considered that the oxygen analyser, used on its own, would have detected 114 (9%), had they been allowed to evolve (3% before any potential for organ damage). In 4 incidents an oxygen analyser gave faulty readings, in 3 caused a leak and in one a total circuit obstruction; 5 incidents were not detected because the alarm had been disabled. Despite the advent of piped gas supplies, failure of gas delivery or delivery of a "wrong" gas mixture still occurs surprisingly frequently in current anaesthetic practice; hypoxic mixtures were supplied on 16 occasions, other "wrong" mixtures on 23 and the oxygen supply failed on 7 occasions.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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