Volume 2, No. 3 • Fall 1987

From the Literature: Anesthesia Machines Explained

Petty, Clayton, M.D.; Ellison C. Pierce, Jr., M.D.

Editor’s note: In each APSFA newsletter a pertinent publication from the anesthesia patient safety literature will be summarized. Suggestions for future issues are welcome.

Petty, Clayton, M.D., 7he Anesthesia Machine. Churchill Livingstone, New York, Edinburgh, London, Melbourne, 1987.

This book is an important addition to the literature examining the anesthesia machine and its safe use. As noted by Burnell R. Brown, Jr., M.D., in the Forward to the book “… insight into the components and circuitry of the machine is not only important from a purely academic viewpoint, it can save lives”.

In his Preface, Dr. Petty says, “I have attempted to provide information in the form that wig be easily understood by anesthesiologists in private practice, medical students, nurse anesthetists and residents” ‘ In my view, he has successfully accomplished his S”.

In the twelve chapters, the author reviews the history of the development of anesthesia machines and their current manufacture. He succinctly describes flow meters, vaporizers, carbon dioxide absorption, anesthesia circuits and scavaging. He also thoroughly examines compressed gases, pressure regulators, and piping systems. There is, appropriately, a separate chapter examining anesthesia ventilators.

From the viewpoint of the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation, the last two chapters are perhaps the most important. They are entitled, “Safety Features of the Anesthesia Machine’ and “Risk Management and Quality Assurance for Anesthesia Machines”.

I encourage all departments of anesthesia to secure this volume for their library and add it to the current crop of books on the subject, described periodically in this Newsletter.

Abstracted by: Ellison C. Pierce, Jr., M.D., Harvard Medical School, President, Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation.