We don’t use our ventilator that frequently but when we do, it’s a real gem. It’s so nice to be able to free up a set of hands that would be otherwise ventilating the patient.
What’s good about it
This ventilator is particularly useful when treating our snake-bite paralysis patients. We also deal with the odd case of 1080 poisoning. For a really severe poisoning, the animal needs to be anaesthetised for a long period of time and the ventilator really helps.
It’s almost an essential item in small clinics that are doing their own after-hours work and rural clinics where there is often only one person on duty through the night.
The ventilator is kept permanently in our surgery suite so it’s easy to access when faced with a patient that isn’t breathing properly. All of our nurses have been trained so they are confident in placing a patient on the ventilator. With that taken care of, they can then get on with the rest of their monitoring.
Due to the fact that the ventilator isn’t used frequently, it’s important to have staff trained to a level where they feel confident in using it when it’s really needed.
What’s not so good
The big negative of the unit we own is that it’s actually designed for humans. It works fine for larger patients but for those under 10 kilograms, it’s impossible to use. We still manually ventilate our smaller patients.
Where did you get it
This unit came with the practice when we purchased it but most of the larger veterinary supply companies such as Vetquip (www.vetquip.com.au) carry ventilators.
By Dr Michel Doney, The Margaret River Vet Hospital, WA.