THE types of anaesthetic machine available and factors influencing the selection of machine were discussed in an earlier article (In Practice, February 1995, pp 83-88). Here, attention is turned to anaesthetic breathing systems, or circuits, which connect the anaesthetic machine to the endotracheal tube connector or mask and convey oxygen and anaesthetic vapour to the patient. Improper system selection, misuse or circuit malfunction may jeopardise patients. Because each circuit has advantages (and disadvantages) in different circumstances, a range should be available to cover all potential clinical situations.
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