Reader Seeks Advice on Aging Anesthesia Machines

Gerald G. Pousho, M.D.

To the Editor:

I receive the APSF Newsletter regularly and find it a source of valuable information for the practice of anesthesiology.

Recently, the issue of the age of anesthesia machines was discussed. My question is this: is there currently a consensus regarding when anesthesia machines become outdated, obsolete, or unsafe and, therefore, should be replaced?

Our surgery center has four well-functioning anesthesia machines that are approximately ten years of age. They have undergone authorized factory maintenance a minimum of three times a year for the past nine years. Each machine has been utilized to give approximately 800 anesthetics per year. Would replacement be justified as a reasonable (or even necessary) risk management action?

Comments and suggestions from readers of this Newsletter would be appreciated.

Gerald G. Pousho, M.D. Medical Director Washington Outpatient Surgery Center Fremont, CA