To the Editor
I have found virtually all the printed checklists* that I have ever seen for pre-anesthetic machine checkouts to be needlessly lengthy and burdensome. The best checkout routine I ever heard was a mnemonic taught to me before I began my residency.
The mnemonic is as follows: TV LAD IS BEST
V vaporizers, ventilator
L leaks (includes connection of ETCO2 monitoring line)
B blood pressure (cuff)
S stethoscopes (esophageal, precordial)
The only new item I add is a fifth monitoring device, the pulse oximeter.
To this day, I go through the mnemonic and set up my machine and supplies in the same order before every anesthetic I administer and it has not failed me yet. As far as I can tell it covers in simple fashion all the items of the more elaborate printed checklists.
Leo I. Stemp, M.D. Atlanta, GA
* Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation Newsletter. Checklists cited as contributing to safety. 5:30-31, Fall 1990