Preparing for Total Power Failure in the Operating Room.
Total electrical power failure in the operating room is an uncommon event, but when it occurs, it poses a major threat to patient safety. Perhaps the most curable threat to patient safety is the lack of provider knowledge regarding what equipment capabilities will be lost and how long devices will function on battery power. The purpose of this project was to determine the internal battery-related capabilities and duration of function of site-specific anesthesia equipment during a total power failure and to develop a power failure protocol. Equipment capabilities and duration of function on internal battery power were assessed for several anesthesia gas machines (AGM), vital sign monitors, and intravenous infusion pumps. Testing revealed substantial differences in AGM battery life compared with the manufacturer's reference values. Vital sign monitors integral to the AGM failed immediately on simulation of a power failure, whereas portable vital sign monitors and infusion pumps functioned, on average, for 150 and 270 minutes, respectively. Because many devices relied on in the operating room do not operate or have reduced functional capability during a power failure, it is important to have a site-specific protocol to optimize patient care decision making in the event of a total power failure.
Vetter, AG; Harman, RJ; Stamper, MJ; Titch, JF; Vacchiano, CA
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