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What are all the machines for that bleep and alarm in the anaesthetic room?

In the anaesthetic room:

There are many different functions of your body that the anaesthetist will need to watch while you have your operation, this process of watching is often referred to as monitoring.

You will be connected to a variety of machines in the anaesthetic room; these machines are there as an aid for the anaesthetist so they are able to ensure you are monitored constantly during your procedure.

They are observing your:

  • Heart:

    this is done with an electrocardiogram(ECG) machine
    • Three sticky round patches are placed on your body –the position of these vary and the yellow red and green clips are attached they are not painful and are removed when you have woken up in the recovery room. Occasionally you will return to the ward with these still in place if you require further monitoring on the ward.  

  • Blood pressure:

    This is done with an automatic sphygmomanometer
    • A blood pressure cuff will be placed around your arm and will inflate tight against your arm at intervals before and during your operation. This can be a little uncomfortable but this will be removed in the recovery room before you return to your ward.

  • The oxygen level in your blood:

    this is done with a pulse oximeter
    • It is a small clip, similar to a peg design which is placed on one of your fingers. It may be a little tight but it will not hurt. This monitors how much oxygen is circulating around your body.

The extent of the monitoring depends on the complexity of the operation and on your health. Someone who is having a minor operation may have the basic monitoring. However if you are seriously ill you may require very complicated monitoring, which your anaesthetist will discuss with you.

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