The core instrument in an inhalational anesthetic delivery system is an anesthetic machine. It has vaporizers, ventilators, an anesthetic breathing circuit, waste gas scavenging system and pressure gauges. The purpose of the anesthetic machine is to provide anesthetic gas at a constant pressure, oxygen for breathing and to remove carbon dioxide or other waste anesthetic gases.
Since inhalational anesthetics are flammable, various checklists have been developed to confirm that the machine is ready for use, that the safety features are active and the electrical hazards are removed. Intravenous anesthetic is delivered either by bolus doses or an infusion pump. There are also many smaller instruments used in airway management and monitoring the patient. The common thread to modern machinery in this field is the use of fail-safe systems that decrease the odds of catastrophic misuse of the machine.