Task force and contributors to the 2020 AAHA Anesthesia and Monitoring Guidelines for Dogs and Cats .
Safe and effective anesthesia of dogs and cats relies on preanesthetic patient assessment and preparation.
The objective of these guidelines is to make the anesthesia period as safe as possible for dogs and cats while providing a practical framework for delivering anesthesia care before, during, and after the anesthetic procedure. The guidelines are intended to be comprehensive but neither all-inclusive nor a single source for information and clinical recommendations.
Anesthesia, which is an integral part of daily care in veterinary hospitals, cannot be defined merely by the time that the patient is unconscious, but rather by a continuum of care that begins at home with the owner and does not end until the patient returns home to the owner for follow-up care. Anesthesia is a multidimensional procedure involving not only the patient’s individual characteristics but also specific and critical equipment, appropriate drugs and drug dosages, diligent physiologic monitoring and support, thorough client communication, and highly trained staff.
References for the 2020 AAHA Anesthesia and Monitoring Guidelines for Dogs and Cats .
AAHA Vice President Adam Hechko, DVM, discusses the value of having in-house diagnostic equipment, and how it can help provide better care and improve client loyalty. Also in this section, what every veterinary professional needs to know about the 2020 AAHA Anesthesia and Monitoring Guidelines , and an obituary for an AAHA past president.
Resources from the 2020 AAHA Anethesia and Monitoring Guidelines for both veterinary teams and pet owners.
The most effective way to prevent anesthesia complications is to establish anesthetic processes organized into checklists that ensure adequate preparation of the patient and equipment, minimize the chance for human error, and prevent omission of steps that could impact anesthetic safety.
No one likes anesthetic complications. The most effective way to prevent complications is to establish anesthetic processes that result in high-level anesthesia care.
Once the patient has been discharged, the anesthesia continuum comes full circle. Pet owners can benefit from receiving anesthetic discharge instructions , in addition to a surgical discharge form. This guides postoperative care by the pet owner and alleviates their concerns, addressing possible complications that could be encountered and outlining when the veterinary team should be contacted.