Anesthesia machines are mechanical devices that deliver a uniform but highly variable airflow, containing various anesthetic gases and anesthetics. When the machine creates air pressure in accordance with a patient's specific need, it creates a localized anesthetic effect. These machines come in many varieties, used for many different applications, from the common cold to the most complicated surgeries. There are two primary types of anesthesiology machines namely ventilators and mask systems.
Anesthesia gas evaporators are used for administering general anesthesia. This includes everything from simple general anesthesia administered by doctors and dentists to the most complex medical procedures like a heart transplant. The most commonly used Anesthesia gas evaporators are ventilators, also known as "the walk-behind" machines, which are used in hospitals to administer both low-pressure and high-pressure air into a patient's airway. Low-pressure systems save the patient's breathing by preventing excessive oxygen from circulating in the blood, and the high-pressure system helps prevent carbon dioxide from entering the bloodstream. Anesthesia gas evaporators also have an anesthetic feature, delivering a very low dosage of the drug required to perform the task.
In addition to being used for low-pressure procedures, ventilators are also used for high-pressure procedures. Some of these high-pressure procedures involve major surgery. While surgery requires that the anesthetics be delivered in very low doses, some require high doses to be delivered. Anesthesia gas evaporators, such as the advanced ventilation system (AVS), use a very high dosage of the drug to perform these difficult tasks. An AVS is able to deliver the drug at pressures up to 100 pounds per square inch. The most common uses for Anesthesia gas evaporators are to deliver light sedation, such as when patients suffer from allergies or minor heart problems. Many people use these machines to inhale pure oxygen after minor surgery in order to help them recover more quickly. A small amount of oxygen is inhaled before surgery, which allows the patient's heart to heal faster.
One type of Anesthesia gas evaporator that is common in the United States is the inhalation port or valve. These devices are usually used on patients with severe burns or lung disease and have a common operating method called positive air pressure (PAP). The process of pressurized air into a patient's breathing tube causes a positive reaction from the lungs. Inhaled oxygen triggers the production of mucus that covers the bronchioles and airways, preventing irritants and foreign matter from entering the lungs. This mucus traps foreign matter and prevents infection and inflammation in the lungs.
There are two types of anesthesia ventilation systems commonly used today. Inline applications use tubing attached to a fitting at the mouth or nose; while single-use applications are available with no external fitting. Inline applications are smaller than single-use devices, but many larger, more bulky single-use devices are also available. Some of these larger devices feature digital programs that monitor patient oxygenation and filtration; other features include auto shut-off, manual inflation, delay resetting, and automatic shut-off after reaching the desired pressure. Drip applications, which allow a mist of medication to fall directly onto the skin, are also available.