A case of a power failure in the operating room.

  • Yasny J
  • Soffer R
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In the operating room, safely administering anesthesia amidst a major power failure can instantly present one with a formidable challenge. A case is presented involving a 23-year-old healthy woman who underwent a complex oral and maxillofacial surgery to correct a dentofacial deformity. Three hours into the case and with the patient's maxilla downfractured, the overhead surgical lights blacked out, and there was an apparent loss of the anesthesia machine's ability to function. Providing adequate oxygenation, ventilation, anesthesia levels, monitoring of vital signs, and transportation of the patient were some of the challenges faced, and the response to this unexpected event is recounted. The importance of one's familiarity with an anesthesia machine's backup battery supply, routinely checking machinery, ensuring that appropriate and sufficient supplies are readily available, exercising calm leadership with clear communication, and formulating a clear plan with backup alternatives are discussed. Various recommendations are proposed with respect to the preparation for and the prevention of a power failure in the operating room. This report's account of events is aimed to "shed some light" on this topic, serve as a check of one's own preparedness, and facilitate the optimal management of a similarly unexpected incident.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Adult
  • Anesthesia, Dental
  • Anesthesia, General
  • Anesthesia, Intravenous
  • Electric Power Supplies
  • Electricity
  • Equipment Failure
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lighting
  • Mandible
  • Mandible: surgery
  • Maxilla
  • Maxilla: surgery
  • Operating Rooms
  • Osteotomy
  • Osteotomy, Le Fort
  • Osteotomy: methods
  • Patient Transfer
  • Respiration, Artificial

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  • Jeffrey Yasny

  • Robert Soffer

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