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Anaesthesia Assessment
Practices should have a system of checks that are performed prior to every patient being anaesthetised.

' is not the act of ticking off a checklist that reduces complications, but performance of the actions it calls for'
- Lucian Leape, 2014

Patient Checks

  • History
  • Physical Examination
  • ASA Classification (prior to premedication)
  • Pain Assessment
  • Other Suggested Diagnostic Procedures – (blood tests, cardiac investigation etc)
  • Concurrent Disease and Medication Assessment
  • Premedication Selection
  • Effect of Premedications (prior to induction)

Equipment Checks

  • Oxygen and Inhalation Agent Levels
  • Gas Line Connections and Valve Function
  • Emergency Oxygen Button Function
  • Patient Breathing System Selection (including a range of endotracheal tubes)
  • Soda-lime and Scavenger System
  • Patient Monitoring and Warming Devices
  • Required Drugs, calculated, prepared and labelled
  • Emergency Drugs

Patient Risk Assessment

It is advisable to allocate a risk assessment for each patient being anaesthetised. The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) has determined a classification for the clinical status of human patients when assessed pre-operatively 36. This is readily adoptable by veterinary practices and can be used to help tailor anaesthetic protocols to individual patients and can be accessed at this link.

The Association of Veterinary Anaesthetists have developed an Anaesthetic Safety Implementation Manual which is available for you to


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