The following equipment should be available for use on every patient undergoing anaesthesia. When the monitors are in use on a patient, the alarms (visual and audible) must be enabled and appropriate. The audible component of the alarm system must be able to be heard by the practitioner responsible for the anaesthesia. When any of the monitors of physiological function are in use during anaesthesia, regular recordings should be documented in the anaesthesia record.
- Oxygen Analyser
During every administration of general anesthesia using an anesthesia machine and a breathing system there must be continuous monitoring of oxygen level delivered by the machine. This is done by device correctly fitted in the breathing system, and incorporating an audible alarm and visual signal to warn of low oxygen concentrations.
- Breathing System Disconnection or Ventilator Failure Alarm
When a mechanical ventilator is in use, a monitor capable of warning promptly of a breathing system disconnection or ventilator failure must be in continuous operation. It must be automatically activated to give an audible signal when its alarm threshold is exceeded.
- Pulse Oximeter
Pulse oximetry provides evidence of the level of oxygen saturation of the haemoglobin of arterial blood at the site of application and may identify arterial pulsation. A pulse oximeter must be in use for every patient undergoing general anaesthesia or sedation. When this particular monitor is in use, the variable pitch pulse tone as well as the low threshold alarm shall be appropriately set and audible to the practitioner responsible for the anaesthesia.
Equipment to monitor and continually display the electrocardiograph must be available for every anaesthetized patient. A 3 lead option is adequate, however, there should be a 5-lead option available in level 5 and 6 hospitals. Every patient receiving anesthesia shall have the electrocardiogram continuously displayed from the beginning of anesthesia until preparing to leave the anesthetizing location.
- Intermittent Non-Invasive Blood Pressure Monitor
Equipment to provide intermittent non-invasive blood pressure monitoring must be available for every patient undergoing anaesthesia. A variety of cuff sizes must be available. Every patient receiving anesthesia shall have arterial blood pressure and heart rate determined and evaluated at least every five minutes.
- Temperature Monitor
To aid in the maintenance of appropriate body temperature during all anesthetics. Every patient receiving anesthesia shall have temperature monitored when clinically significant changes in body temperature are intended, anticipated or suspected. Equipment to monitor “core” temperature continuously must be available for every patient undergoing general anaesthesia.