According to the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, “devices such as precision vaporizers increase the safety and choices of inhalation anesthetics for use in rodents and other species.” However, if anesthetic machines are used they should be properly maintained.
Efforts to provide high-quality anesthesia to research animals and a safe working environment for personnel dictate that assessments should be conducted on anesthesia machines and vaporizers at yearly intervals. These assessments should include checking the machine for system leaks and level of anesthetic gas output to the animal. Principal Investigators who provide documentation from the manufacturer that an anesthetic machine and/or vaporizer does not require yearly maintenance will be exempt from this policy, but must follow manufacturer’s guidelines.
It is the individual laboratory’s responsibility to ensure each anesthetic machine is maintained in accordance with either this policy or the manufacturer’s recommendation.
Anesthetic machines and vaporizers must have documentation affixed to each machine or vaporizer that is inspected or must be provided upon request.
Documentation should include:
- Date of service
- Name or the initials of the person who performed the test
IACUC members and staff will pay particular attention to anesthetic machine maintenance during facility inspections and other IACUC visits. The responsible owner will be required to have any questionable anesthetic machine(s) and/or vaporizer(s) evaluated. All costs associated with the maintenance of the anesthetic machines are the responsibility of the owner. Any necessary corrections will be re-assessed by the IACUC during follow-up visits.