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Surgical Monitoring Equipment

At Dave Cumber Vets we have the latest state of the art surgical monitoring equipment, allowing our vets and nurses to continuously monitor the wellbeing of animals under our care.

Monitor blood pressure

The veterinary nurse will select the appropriate size cuff and wrap this around the patient’s limb and the machine will take readings every 5 minutes.

If the blood pressure has a low reading the veterinary nurse will:

  • Adjust the cuff or move it to a different limb
  • Reduce the level of gaseous anaesthetic under direction for the surgeon
  • Can administer intravenous fluids under the direction of the surgeon
  • Some drugs can lower blood pressure so under direction a nurse can inject a reversal agent

If the blood pressure has a high reading the veterinary nurse will:

  • Adjust the cuff or move to a different limb
  • Check all other vital signs for abnormalities
  • Alter the volume of gaseous anaesthetic under the direction of the surgeon
  • Can administer drugs if required under the direction of the surgeon

Capnography

This piece of equipment allows us to measure the amount of CO2 the patient is breathing.

If a patients CO2 levels appear abnormal, the veterinary nurse will:

  • Check the tracheal tube – to see whether it is too small or if there is an obstruction. The nurse can change the tracheal tube if needed
  • Reduce the level of anaesthesia under the direction of the veterinary surgeon
  • Check the breathing apparatus and change if necessary
  • Give the patient breaths
  • Ensure the patients temperature, blood pressure and heart rate is normal
  • Ensure the patient has adequate pain relief – the nurse can administer more pain relief is necessary

Temperature

 Anaesthetic affects the patient’s ability to regulate body temperature. The following equipment helps to increase the body temperature: 

  • Heat pads
  • Blankets and socks
  • Foil blankets and bubble wrap is used to insulate the patient
  • If a patient is on a drip a fluid warmer can be used to warm the fluids going into the patient
  • A ‘bear hugger’ or ‘hot dog’ (these are just like electric blankets). They are used to help warm the patients and can be wrapped around the patients during anaesthesia and on recovery.

If a patient has a high temperature, the veterinary nurse will switch off warming aids and will continue to monitor for any change and act accordingly.

Electrocardiogram (ECG)

This equipment allows us to check the rhythm and electrical activity of the heart.

We attach sensors to the patients skin to measure the electrical signals the heart produces during each beat. The veterinary nurse will observe the ECG throughout the patients anaesthetic to ensure it is normal. If an abnormal trace is shown the surgeon is formed and the veterinary nurse can act accordingly.

Pulse Oximeter

The Pulse Oximiter allows us to measure the amount of oxygen in the blood. This device is often placed on the tongue or on the ear.

If a low reading is shown the Pulse Ox can be moved to get a new reading. If the reading is still low the vet can be informed and the nurse will reassess the patient form nose to tail.

To help stabilise the patient oxygen levels the veterinary nurse will:

  • Increase the volume id oxygen and check the anaesthetic circuits are functioning
  • Adjust the position of the tracheal tube or the nurse can place a new tube
  • Administer drugs if needed under the direction of the veterinary surgeon