Circulation 83,045 • Volume 23, No. 1 • Spring 2008   Issue PDF

Machine Obsolescence

Robert R. Jirgl, CRNA

Numerous questions to the Committee on Technology are individually and quickly answered each quarter by knowledgeable committee members. Many of those responses would be of value to the general readership, but are not suitable for the Dear SIRS column. Therefore, we have created this simple column to address the needs of our readership.

Machine Obsolescence

Response to Q&A:

In response to the Q&A article on older machines (APSF Newsletter 2008;22(4):78), I would like to report that we are replacing our 2 Narkomen 2B machines in 2008 after 24 years of service. The “near” 100% non-failure rate involved only 2 in-flight failures. One was a sticky valve, replaced in flight, and the other an electronic display failure easily remedied with a replacement board.

Our greatest safety issue over these 24 years was certainly not the machine hut the primitive agent level gauge on the vaporizers. An exception to this statement is the Ohmeda Tec 6 plus vaporizer, with its light and squawk alarm before the vaporizer is empty.

In evaluating the new machine choices available, it is discouraging to still see vaporizers with a 10¢ glass tube for an agent level gauge.

My question is, in light of unwanted patient movement or patient awareness from an empty vaporizer, why do we continue to utilize such a poor agent level gauge? Is it a patent restriction that allows only the Ohmeda Tec 6 vaporizer to have a safe agent level alarm? Or is it because we clinicians are requesting the machine engineers to provide larger drawers, a writing shelf, or a better cockpit light instead?

I welcome any response.

Robert R. Jirgl, CRNA Dowagiac, MI

The information provided is for safety-related educational purposes only, and does not constitute medical or legal advice. Individual or group responses are only commentary, provided for purposes of education or discussion, and are neither statements of advice nor the opinions of APSF. It is not the intention of APSF to provide specific medical or legal advice or to endorse any specific views or recommendations in response to the inquiries posted. In no event shall APSF be responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the reliance on any such information.