Preparing the patient

“I also made each of the anaesthetic rooms [at St George Hospital] to have a small anaesthetic machine with open circuit anaesthetic connections […] and the anaesthetic bay could be used for a minor manipulation or for getting a patient ready for the next case and that sort of thing.” (OH, Professor David Gibb, 10.01.12)

The anaesthetic room, where the patients are put to sleep before wheeling them in the operating theatre, is certainly a much discussed facility. Are they necessary or are they distractive? There might be no clear answer. Extra anaesthetic bays enable anaesthetists to work undisturbed but the logistics are sometimes more difficult and double the amount of anaesthetic equipment is needed. What do you think?

Dr Richard Bailey mainly anaesthetised his patients in special anaesthetic bays when he worked at St Vincent’s Hospital and the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital. It was different in private hospitals, as Dr Bailey recalls (OH, 18.01.12):

How to get the patient in and out of the operating theatre?

“They [the patients] were put on a canvas that you could put poles through and lift up and take the poles out and leave them on the operating table. But then, […] some fellow invented a roller, […] and you just lifted the patient over a bit and slid the roller under and pushed him across and then lifted him back a bit and pulled the roller out the other side when he was on the operating table.” (OH, Dr Des O’ Brien, 30.11.11)

Dr Richard Bailey recalls how difficult it was to transport a patient from the operating theatre into his bed at Wiston Private Hospital at Darling Point, in the 1960s (OH, 18.01.12):

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