Anesthesia machines are generally reliable and problem free. Limitations include that they require a source of compressed gases, are heavy and bulky, are calibrated to be accurate at sea level, and are designed to function in an upright position within a gravitational field. Machine malfunctions are usually a result of misconnections or disconnections of internal components during servicing or transportation.
Aside from interlock mechanisms that decrease the likelihood of wrong gas or wrong anesthetic agent problems, there are no integrated monitors to ensure that the vaporizers (Vaporizer Definition and Vaporizer Construction) are filled with the correct agents and the flow meters are dispensing the correct gases.
Likewise, except for oxygen, the gas supply pressures and anesthetic agent levels are not automatically monitored. Thus, problems can still result when the anesthesia provider fails to diagnose a problem with the compressed gas or liquid anesthetic supplies.