Many patients will have bloods taken before their surgery to check on their organ function, and where necessary to address issues such as kidney problems. These bloods may be run after a pet is admitted and the results obtained within half an hour.
Patients will receive a ‘pre-med’ which is a mixture of pain relief and a sedative. This makes the patient feel more relaxed and less anxious so that they need far less anaesthetic to be given. This anaesthetic is given as a very short acting substance given via a catheter that is placed into a vein in the patient’s front leg. Once unconscious and fully relaxed, we will place a tube down into the windpipe which carries oxygen and anaesthetic gas. This mixture keeps the oxygen levels in the blood stream at the correct level, and the anaesthetic gas will then maintain the unconscious state.
Nurses monitor the patients during anaesthetics by monitoring breathing, heart rate, pulse and using monitors which can look at the level of oxygen in the blood stream, the carbon dioxide they are breathing out as well as heart rhythm.
We are very fortunate to have very experienced nurses including Kelly who gained the nursing certificate in Anaesthesia and Critical Care (NCert A+CC) in November 2010. From her advanced training she has been able to share her knowledge with the rest of the nursing team, ensuring all of our patients are anaesthetised as safely as possible using up to date equipment and techniques.
We also have Katie who completed the Certificate of Veterinary Nursing and Critical Care (Cert VN ECC) in mArch 2013. She gained valuable knowledge on the course which she has been able to share with the rest of the team, ensuring that our critically ill patients receive an enhanced level of nursing care.
Pain relief is used routinely. This has changed incredibly in recent years so we use a number of different compounds given in different ways to try and keep our patients as comfortable as possible. This also helps to minimise the amount of anaesthetic they need to be given for a procedure to remain asleep and unaware of the surgery.