Background and Objective: During general anesthesia, inhaled anesthetic delivery system problems may contribute to anesthetic morbidity and mortality. The magnitude and pattern of these problems had not been established at Srinagarind Hospital. The objectives of this study are to identify the incidence and severity of common problems of inhaled anesthetic delivery system and find strategies for prevention.
Methods: Prospective, descriptive study at Srinagarind Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University. All patients received general anesthesia in the year 2005. Details of anesthetic management in all patients were recorded on the anesthetic charts on a routine basis. When inhaled anesthetic delivery system problems had occurred, the anesthesia provider responsible for the cases wrote a short description of the event on the anesthetic charts and reported to the authors to record more details in the incidence form for further analysis about the incidence and severity.
Results: There were 8,904 consecutive general anesthetic patients in 2005. Sixteen inhaled anesthetic delivery system problems were recorded (0.18 %). One-third of problems involved the anesthetic ventilators. Human error was a contributing factor in a half of the cases. No patient suffered any lasting morbidity.
Conclusions: The incidence of inhaled anesthetic delivery system problems was very low and not severe during the study period. This was probably due to the improvement in routines for preoperative equipment checks, regular equipment calibration and good monitoring system in our hospital. However, there is still a potential for serious problems and strategies to prevent human error should be implemented. In addition, an improved check between cases should be encouraged to reduce the occurrence of the problems.
Keywords: anesthesia, complications, inhaled anesthetic delivery system