BIS: fact or fiction

BIS: fact or fiction

BIS or Bispectral monitoring is a relatively new but controversial technology to monitor depth of anaesthesia. This module covers how it works and if it works.
Length of Study: 60 min.
Difficulty: Easy

Anaesthetic machine safety features

Anaesthetic machine safety features

This module covers the safety features built into the modern anaesthetic machine. With more theatres moving to electronic self-checking machines this is a useful reminder of where we have come from and how safety is built into all aspects of the anaesthetic machine. It is also useful for anyone new to anaesthetics.
Length of Study: 60 min
Difficulty: Easy

Awareness under Anaesthesia

Awareness under Anaesthesia

Awareness during anaesthesia can be very distressing for a patient, particularly if accompanied by recall of the painful nature of surgery. This article explores the types, incidence, consequences, causes, management and avoidance of intraoperative awareness.
Length of Study: 60 min
Difficulty: Easy

Sickle cell disease

Sickle cell disease

Sickle cell disease is a disorder of the blood caused by an inherited abnormal haemoglobin. The abnormal haemoglobin causes distorted (sickled) red blood cells. When the number of red blood cells decreases from rupture (haemolysis), anaemia is the result. The irregular sickled cells can also block blood vessels causing tissue and organ damage and pain.
Length of Study: 60 min
Difficulty: Easy

Arterial lines: the fundamentals

The fundamentals of arterial lines

This module covers the basic principles behind setting up, inserting and monitoring intra-arterial blood pressure lines that an anaesthetic assistant needs.
There is also an separate advanced module available which covers more of the physics indepth.
Length of Study: 90 min
Difficulty: Easy

Diathermy: the basics

Diathermy:  the basics 

Electrosurgery or diathermy has allowed faster operating, reduced blood loss and new surgical techniques. It does have its dangers and its safe use in operating theatres requires a grasp of its mechanisms of action and potential pitfalls.
Length of Study: 60 min
Difficulty: Easy

Latex Allergies

Latex Allergies

Latex allergies can be present in both staff and patients. Perioperative workers have to be aware of the causes and consequences of latex products in the operating theatre.
Length of Study: 60 min
Difficulty: Easy

Arterial Blood Pressure Measurement – The physics

Arterial Blood Pressure Measurement – The physics and principles.

Intra-arterial blood pressure measurement is often considered to be the gold standard of blood pressure measurement. This accuracy however, depends on a number of physical principles of the systems used, which are explored in this advanced module.
The is also a separate easier module available covering setting up and using arterial lines.
Length of Study: 75 min
Difficulty: Medium

Surgical smoke: is it safe?

Surgical smoke: is it safe?

Surgical smoke is now recognised as a hazard that is encountered in all operating theatres. Unfortunately, the dangers and health risks associated with it continue to be overlooked by many surgeons, nurses and theatre staff. It is important to be aware of the dangers of surgical smoke and for everyone to help minimise the risks.
Length of study:  60 min
Difficulty: Easy

Cardiac transplant: Anaesthesia for the patient with a cardiac transplant

Anaesthesia for the patient with a cardiac transplant

For patients who have previously received a cardiac transplant, coming to theatre for non-related surgery is no longer unusual as survival times continue to increase for transplant recipients. With altered physiology, and the effects of long term anti-rejection drugs use, their anaesthetic requirements are more complicated and it is essential to know what works and what doesn’t.
Length of Study  60 min
Difficulty: Medium

Vaporisers & Inhalational anaesthetics

Vaporisers & Inhalational anaesthetics

Vaporisers are specially designed devices that deliver a very accurate concentration of anaesthetics. This module discusses them and how the process of vaporisation works.
Length of Study: 60 min
Difficulty: Medium

Opioids: Peri-operative Management of Patients on Strong Opioids

Peri-operative Management of Patients on Strong Opioids

It is very common to encounter patients on strong opioid medication. These patients present particularly challenging pain management difficulties in the peri-operative period due to behavioural, psychological and pharmacological consequences of opioid treatment. This module discusses the key concepts in the anaesthetic management of patients taking strong opioids and steps that can be taken to ensure optimum peri-operative care.
Length of Study: 80 min
Difficulty: Medium

Arterial Blood Gas Analysis

Arterial Blood Gas Analysis

This module explains how to do a simple easy to understand arterial blood gas analysis. How to use the 5-step approach to analyse arterial blood gas results as well as explaining how respiration and metabolism are linked and how this effects the results.
Length of study:  90 min
Difficulty: Difficult

COPD and Anaesthesia

COPD and Anaesthesia

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a commonly encountered respiratory disorder. Patients with COPD pose a challenge to the anaesthetist because intraoperative and postoperative complications occur more commonly than in those without the disease, and can lead to prolonged hospital stay and increased mortality. This module provides an overview of COPD and discusses implications for the anaesthetic management of patients with the disease.
Length of Study: 75 min
Difficulty Medium

Blood Component Therapy

Blood Component Therapy

Blood products are any therapeutic substances that are prepared from human blood. These can be classified into blood components (red cell concentrates, platelet concentrates, fresh plasma and cryoprecipitate) and plasma derivatives (albumin, coagulation factors and immunoglobulins). In this module we discuss the blood components and plasma derivatives that we encounter in theatre.
Note: for haemoglobin the UK use g/dl while NZ use g/l i.e. 12 g/dl = 120 g/l.
Length of Study:  90 min
Difficulty: Difficult

Paediatric Anaesthetic Emergencies: Pt II

Paediatric Anaesthetic Emergencies: Pt 2

Paediatric anaesthetic emergencies can happen faster and leave less time to react the in adults. They present complex, potentially life-threatening situations that everyone engaged in giving paediatric anaesthetic should be aware of and be able to treat.This second article covers malignant hyperthermia and anaphylaxis.
Length of Study   50min
Difficulty: Medium

Oxygen Saturations & Pulse Oximetery

Oxygen Saturations & Pulse Oximetery

The pulse oximeter provides an indication of oxygen status in the body. However, the link between a pulse oximeter reading and the events occurring in the body can be complex and difficult to evaluate. We all require an understanding of factors associated with oxygen uptake and delivery to be able to use pulse oximetry in a knowledgeable way.
Length of Study: 80 min
Difficulty: Easy

Temperature Management in Children

Temperature Management in Children

Maintenance of normothermia in children under going surgery is challenging. There is clear evidence in adults that even mild intra-operative hypothermia is associated with adverse outcome. This short article discusses the problems and what we can do about it.
Length of Study: 40 min
Difficulty: Easy

Physiological effects of transfer for critically ill patients

Physiological effects of transfer for critically ill patients

Critically ill patients can be exposed to significant physiological changes during transfer that can lead to significant instability with hypoxia, hypotension, arrhythmias and changes in intracranial pressure (ICP). This tutorial will explore the physiological effects that land and air transfer have on critically ill patients and describe how these adverse physiological sequelae can be avoided or reduced.
Length of Study: 60 min
Difficulty: Medium

Target Controlled Infusions [TCI] of propofol & remifentanil

Target Controlled Infusions [TCI] of propofol & remifentanil

The use of TCI pumps for propofol and remifentanil is becoming more popular. This article covers some of the science behind target controlled infusions and how they work.
Length of Study:  90 min
Difficulty: Difficult

Urea & Electrolytes

Urea & Electrolytes: a review

Urea and electrolytes (U&Es) are the most frequently requested biochemistry tests. They provide useful information about several aspects of health, such as the volume of blood and its pH. The most important aspect of U&Es is what they tell us about kidney functioning.
Length of Study: 50 min
Difficulty: Easy

Medical lasers – the basic principles of

Medical lasers – the basic principles

With medical lasers becoming more common within the operating theatre and this module gives an insight into the science behind them and the potential hazards of using them.
Length of Study: 75 min
Difficulty: Difficult