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  4. Maintaining and monitoring anaesthesia for surgical or prolonged procedures
  1. Home
  2. Advanced Anaesthesia for Surgical or Prolonged Procedures (EU21)
  3. Maintaining and monitoring anaesthesia for surgical or prolonged procedures

Maintaining and monitoring anaesthesia for surgical or prolonged procedures

Introduction

All anaesthetics produce a reversible depression of central nervous system activity, and on occasion, the degree of depression may become excessive and the animal dies. This should be a very rare event when anaesthetising healthy laboratory animals. The death of an animal during anaesthesia should stimulate a review of the entire process of animal selection, choice of anaesthetic and pre- and intra-operative care. In people, anaesthetic mortality rates are approximately 34 per million. Mortality rates in veterinary clinical practice have been reported as 1:400 (in cats) and 1:600 (in dogs). When anaesthetising healthy, young adult laboratory animals, it does not seem unreasonable to expect a mortality rate of <1:1000. Good pre-anaesthetic preparations, as described above careful assessment of the physiological state of the animal during the anaesthesia can result in a dramatic improvement in recovery rates.