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Recent guidance published by the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland encourages the purchase of equipment based on evidence of safety and performance. For many years, evidence of the safety and performance of anaesthetic equipment was published by various government departments and agencies. However, these schemes were gradually eroded over time such that many devices entered the market with little or no clinical evidence of their efficacy. This recently led to the Difficult Airway Society's issuing guidance to its members on how best to select new airway devices; guidance that was based on the available evidence. This article provides a short history of the evaluation of anaesthetic equipment in the United Kingdom.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date



66 Suppl 2


34 - 39


Anesthesiology, Equipment Safety, Europe, Evidence-Based Medicine, History, 20th Century, History, 21st Century, Humans, Purchasing, Hospital, State Medicine, United Kingdom