The Anesthesia Machine - Overview

The basic function of the anesthesia machine is to prepare a gas mixture of precisely known and variable composition for delivery to the patient. The machine delivers a controlled flow of oxygen, nitrous oxide, air, and anesthetic vapors. These are delivered to a breathing system, which provides a means to deliver positive-pressure ventilation and to control alveolar carbon dioxide by minimizing rebreathing and/or by absorbing exhaled carbon dioxide. A mechanical ventilator is connected to the breathing system, freeing the anesthetist's hands for other tasks. Various monitors are used to survey the functioning of the ventilation system, to detect equipment malfunctions, and to provide information about the patient.

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