The AAGBI guidelines for checking the anaesthetic machine states that ‘a clear note must be made in the patient’s anaesthetic record that the anaesthetic machine check has been performed, that appropriate monitoring is in place and functional, and that the integrity, patency and safety of the whole breathing system has been assured. There must also be a logbook kept with each anaesthetic machine to record the daily presession check and weekly check of the oxygen failure alarm' . In a recent audit at the East Surrey Hospital, we noted the completion of documentation regarding the anaesthetic machine check. At our hospital a logbook is kept next to each anaesthetic machine and a space is also provided on the anaesthetic chart to document the machine check.
The audit showed that the log book had been completed on 19% of occasions (August 2005-December 2005) and the anaesthetic chart had been completed on 90% of occasions (100 charts). There was also a disparity between the morning and afternoon session. In the morning, 46% of the machine checks were documented but only 6% in the afternoon. We presume the reason for the difference between logbook and anaesthetic chart is because the anaesthetic chart is ‘to hand’ and familiar to the anaesthetist.
Perhaps the AAGBI should alter the guidelines to advise that documentation on the anaesthetic chart is an adequate alternative to maintaining an anaesthetic machine logbook?