Anaesthesiologists in Murcia’s hospitals will work in the coming months with renewed equipment equipped with the latest technology thanks to a new procurement contract that has been put out to tender by the Murcia Health Service (SMS). This is a contract for the purchase of anaesthesia stations for the Anaesthesiology and Resuscitation Services of the hospitals in the Region, which will renew the equipment that has become obsolete and has passed its useful life.
The new project has a budget of more than 6.6 million euros, according to the published specifications, and a total of 100 anaesthesia stations will be purchased.
This hundred or so pieces of equipment will be divided into 72 high-performance stations (valued at 5.14 million euros); 23 medium-performance stations (costing 1.25 million euros); and 5 clinical stations for magnetic resonance imaging (272,000 euros), so the contract is divided into three separate lots.
The anaesthesia stations consist of a respirator, a haemodynamic monitor and a respiratory monitor, as well as gas vaporisers.
The three models of anaesthesia stations to be purchased have different functions. The high-end or high-performance ones are the ones that will go to the operating theatres and are prepared for the future computerisation of the Anaesthesia services. “Anaesthesia is the last service to be computerised, as all the documents we work with are still paper-based”, regrets García Palenciano.
The second model, the mid-range, are simpler anaesthesia stations that could also be connected to the computer system. These are intended for procedures such as sedation or non-invasive procedures, “as anaesthesiologists are increasingly working outside the operating theatre”.
While the third type, the stations that will go to the MRIs, are special machines because they have to withstand the high magnetic fields that are generated in this equipment. In MRI tests, children and some adults who are claustrophobic or cannot tolerate being in such a small space are often sedated.
Of the 72 high performance anaesthesia machines, 24 are destined for the Virgen de la Arrixaca Hospital; 10 will go to the Cartagena Hospital Complex; 7 to the Rafael Méndez de Lorca; 3 to the Hospital del Noroeste; 1 to the Altiplano; 12 will go to the Morales Meseguer; 10 more will go to the Reina Sofía; and the remaining 5 will be installed in the Hospital de Cieza.
The new anaesthesia stations that will be incorporated into the SMS hospitals will provide these procedures with “greater safety for patients, as when the equipment becomes old there is a greater chance of failure and breakage,” says the head of the Anaesthesia and Resuscitation Department at the Hospital Virgen de la Arrixaca, Carlos García Palenciano.
This specialist affirms that “there will be a gain in safety for patients, but it will also mean that no data will be lost, as everything will be computerised directly in the patient’s own history”. Although he points out that the computerisation of these services is a longer-term plan, “a project for the future”.
Equipment up to 20 years old
The one hundred anaesthesia stations to be acquired could be operational in a few months, they estimate in the first half of next year. Equipment that, according to García Palenciano, “is a much-needed change, as it replaces other machines that have become obsolete, some of them with up to 20 years of operation, when their useful life is much shorter”.