Previous guidelines on consent for anaesthesia were issued by the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland in 1999 and revised in 2006. The following guidelines have been produced in response to the changing ethical and legal background against which anaesthetists, and also intensivists and pain specialists, currently work, while retaining the key principles of respect for patients’ autonomy and the need to provide adequate information. The main points of difference between the relevant legal frameworks in England and Wales and Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland are also highlighted.
Performance of adjustable pressure-limiting (APL) valves in two different modern anaesthesia machines
The ability to gently ventilate a patient's lungs using a self-inflating bag requires a properly working adjustable pressure-limiting (APL) valve. We compared the performance of the APL valves of the GE Aisys CS2 and the Draeger Fabius anaesthetic machines during closure and opening from 1-20 and from 20-1 cmH2O, using standardised experimental baby and adolescent patient lung models. Airway pressures and inspiratory tidal volumes were measured using an ASL-5000 test lung and a GE Aisys CS2 near-patient spirometry sensors. In both lung models, the GE Aisys CS2 APL valves demonstrated non-linear behaviours for airway pressures and for inspiratory tidal volumes, with a sharp increase at set APL pressure levels of 8–10 cmH2O. With further closure of the GE Aisys CS2 APL valves up to 20 cmH2O, inspiratory tidal volumes decreased to ~50% of the highest values measured. Airway pressures in the Draeger Fabius APL valves demonstrated a near linear increase and decrease. Airway pressure values measured in the Draeger Fabius were never higher than those set by the APL valves, whereas in the GE Aisys CS2, they considerably exceeded set pressures (by up to 27 cmH2O). We conclude that the performance of the GE Aisys CS2 APL valve does not allow safe bag-assisted ventilation of a patient's lungs.