According to the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, “precision vaporizers and monitoring equipment increase the safety and choices of anesthetic agents for use in rodents and other species.” However, if anesthetic machines are used, they must be properly maintained.
To ensure high-quality anesthesia to research animals and a safe working environment for personnel, Principal Investigators (PIs) are responsible for ensuring anesthetic machines and vaporizers used for their research are assessed by an anesthetic certification company 1 at least yearly.
The assessment must confirm the system has no leaks and that the concentration of volatile anesthetic agent being delivered is accurate to the setting. Once these requirements are met the machine must be labeled with the date of assessment or documentation of the assessment date must be readily available upon request 2.
PIs who, upon request, provide documentation from the manufacturer that less frequent assessment is acceptable may follow manufacturer’s guidelines. Laboratories that certify their machines without the use of a certification company must have their SOPs reviewed by an Environmental Health and Safety representative and a ULAM veterinarian 3, and meet the assessment criteria described above.
Anesthetic machines and vaporizers that do not meet the above stipulations must be clearly labeled “do not use.”
All costs associated with the maintenance of the anesthetic machines and vaporizers are the responsibility of the owner.
1 The Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine (ULAM) coordinates an anesthetic certification company’s visit to the University of Michigan on a quarterly basis. More information on this service can be found at Anesthetic Machine Service Authorization Form
2 Documentation for machines certified in coordination with ULAM can be accessed by contacting the Animal Care & Use Office at (734) 763-8028.
3 SOP reviews may be scheduled by emailing ULAMfirstname.lastname@example.org or contacting your faculty veterinarian directly.