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      Anesthesia Audit: 10 Questions About Your Anesthesia Equipment

      (And recommendations to ensure you are up to date)

      At Patterson Veterinary, we have a team approach to anesthesia equipment. From flow charts to help decide which equipment you need and consultation with your local territory manager to our Vaporizer Exchange service and complimentary Anesthesia Hotline, we have in place a comprehensive solution to answer all your anesthesia questions. We can even service your equipment, curbside or in practice, through our TechEdge preventative maintenance and repair service.

      In my conversations with veterinarians, here are the top 10 questions I ask to ensure their anesthesia equipment is able to do its job, every time it has a job to do.



      1. How old is your anesthesia machine?

      Some anesthesia machines are old and seem to work fine, but I feel it’s best to keep up with current technology. Much has changed over the last 30 years. A Patterson TechEdge service technician can help you determine how old your equipment is and your territory manager can help you select something more current.



      2. How often do you service your vaporizer?

      Vaporizers should be serviced annually. Vaporizer service requires precision. It is why Patterson created our Vaporizer Exchange service, so it’s easy to swap out your current vaporizer for a similar cleaned and precisely calibrated model for you. You never experience any down time.



      3. How often do you change your CO2 absorbent?

      It’s critical to either weigh your canisters or have a system in place to determine end of life for the absorbent granules. We can’t have your patients rebreathing unscavenged gases! Patterson’s canisters are very inexpensive and easy to replace. Having a canister on hand is recommended.



      4. How often do you perform a leak test?

      Many clinics have a daily start-up protocol that includes leak testing on every machine, every morning. Your Patterson team can help incorporate this into your daily routine; your territory manager, our complimentary Anesthesia Hotline or our how-to video can all help. It becomes a habit after a while, and it is so much easier to catch issues before they happen.



      5. How often do you replace your breathing circuits and bags?

      In human medicine, these circuits and bags are considered single use. I have seen standard monthly reorder dates for replacing these breathing circuits. I’ve also seen practices establish a good habit of replacing them on the first of every month, as with air filters. They are inexpensive and easy to replace.



      6. Do you use isoflurane or sevoflurane or both?

      Most veterinarians know what works for them and have a favorite; both agents have their place in veterinary medicine. That’s one reason why we designed and built our Versa II anesthesia machine to accommodate two vaporizers. To avoid confusion regarding which unit is in use, I’ve seen other practices put a bouffant cap on the unit not in use.



      7. What do you use for your oxygen source and are you satisfied with it?

      All of my new-build practices are going with oxygen concentrators on their anesthesia towers, as I like to call them. Everything is in its place and portable to any OR, X-ray room, treatment area or dental suite. At Patterson, we can have one mounted on each of your existing machines as well, avoiding the cost of central oxygen.



      8. What do you use for waste gas collection/scavenging?

      When considering passive versus active waste gas collection and scavenging, I find active evacuation is safest for the whole staff and your patients. It takes out any confusion as to when the canisters were last serviced, weighed or replaced – one less thing to worry about. We have several models to choose from and a one-time purchase will last a very long time. Territory managers are trained to help you select the right one for the needs of your practice.



      9. How often do you use a Bain circuit?

      Bain circuits are usually used on patients weighing under 20 pounds. Our Bain circuit can be added to any Versa II machine and comes with its own manometer; traditional Bain circuits do not. We all know how vital it is to monitor the pressures, especially on the littlest patients.



      10. Could you use another anesthesia machine to help with your case load?

      Anesthesia units are on the less expensive side and a second unit would ensure that your clinic is always prepared with a backup, if needed. Also, you can get twice as many procedures done in the same amount of time as just one.




      Count on end-to-end anesthesia support from our team. That includes: