I attended some great anaesthesia lectures at London Vet Show. The Association of Veterinary Anaesthetists (AVA) ran an afternoon of lectures, and all were really good.
The use of safety checklists prior to anaesthesia was discussed in one session. These are available free of charge from the AVA’s website.
The lists work well in human medicine and help to rule out the inevitable human error aspect of anaesthesia. I can think of several situations involving a poor outcome where the checklists would have been helpful and may have prevented a serious error in patient care.
Another session discussed a pre-GA questionnaire – the 12 questions to ask before administering a general anaesthesia to a patient. This included areas such as:
- Have any significant issues been noted in the clinical exam?
- Can any issue be stabilised?
- What complications do we expect?
- How can we manage that complication?
Again, I can think of situations where these simple questions could have benefitted the patient and the anaesthetist.
The talks focussed on skills and communication rather than buying expensive kit.
My message for this week is to check out the AVA’s website and see what you could do in your practice to make your anaesthesia as safe as possible.