The Utah anesthesia workstation

R. G. Loeb, J. X. Brunner, D. R. Westenskow, B. Feldman, N. L. Pace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


A prototype anesthesia workstation has been developed to demonstrate the feasibility of a computer-assisted anesthesia workplace. The workstation provides a central display of information and aids the user in controlling and monitoring the anesthesia delivery system. The anesthesiologist interacts with the workstation through a Macintosh® computer, which is easy for the clinician to understand and to use. Seventeen sensors and monitors transmit information from the anesthesia delivery system to the computer. The computer monitors this information using a set of rules, evaluated once each breath, to detect changes in the delivery system. If an event is detected, the computer alerts the anesthesiologist with a diagram, a text message, and an audible warning. A laboratory test of the monitoring system was performed to see if it properly identified 26 different critical events during simulated low flow and closed circuit anesthesia. Five hundred and eight-three of 660 stimulated critical events (88%) were identified with the unique and correct message. On 35 occasions, multiple messages were displayed, including the correct one. Critical events were misidentified or not detected 42 times. Eight false positive alarms occurred during the 20 h of testing; all occurred as a result of baseline drift in a single transducer. These results demonstrate that a sophisticated monitoring system can reliably diagnose specific anesthesia machine failures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)999-1007
Number of pages9
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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