Anesthesia Machine: purpose, types, components, working mechanism and maintenance

Anesthesia machine

An anesthesia machine is a medical device that supplies oxygen gas along with anesthetic gases to the patient. These anesthetic gases have a major impact on the patients which are stated below.

Impact of inhalation anesthetics

  • Analgesia:- Loss of response to pain
  • Amnesia:- Loss of memory
  • Hypnosis:- Person becomes unconscious
  • Immobility:- Unable to move

Even though the effects of these drugs can last up to a week, patients can feel much better within a day.

Purpose of an anesthesia machine

  • To supply  inhalation anesthetic
  • To assist in the breathing of the patients

Types of anesthesia

  • Local anesthesia:- The target is a small part of a body. The patient remains awake during the whole process. For example, while taking out the teeth by a dentist.
  • Regional anesthesia:- The target consist of a larger area than the local anesthesia such as limbs. For example, epidural and spinal anesthesia.
  • General anesthesia:– The patient becomes unconscious during the process. It is used during major surgeries.

Working mechanism

Oxygen, N2O, and air are supplied to the patient via the breathing circuit. During this process, these gases carry anesthetic gases along with them. This gas composition is then inhaled by the patient.

Components of an anesthesia machine


  • Check the condition of the CO2  absorber. Once it expires, replace it with a new one.
  • Check the condition of one-way directional valves. and flowmeter(rotameter).
  • Check the amount of oxygen in the oxygen cylinder. The pressure should not drop below 1000 psi (half-filled), before the use.
  • Fill the vaporizer to an optimum level.  Do not tilt the vaporizer.
  • Connect the pipeline from machine to gas (N2O, O2) source properly. Check the pressure of the pipeline.
  • To check the leakage in the circuit set the bag/vent to vent mode. Occlude the patient end of the circuit with your finger. Use oxygen flush to fill the bellows. Pressure gauze should show less than 15 cm H2O. Also, the bellow should fall at a rate of 100 ml/min or less.

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