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Raising the Standard of Care with Advanced CPR Training

Staff members with patient

At Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Hospital of Wichita, we’re always striving for excellence in the quality our patient care. We’re honored to announce eight of our Registered Veterinary Technicians have completed advanced training and are now certified in CPR Basic Life Support and Advanced Life Support from the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care through Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. 

The Reassessment Campaign on Veterinary Resuscitation, or RECOVER, is a collaborative effort of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care and the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society. They discovered that less than 6 percent of dogs and cats who suffered cardiac arrest in hospital return to their owners. This shocking statistic led the arrival of the first evidence-based recommendations to resuscitate dogs and cats in cardiac arrest.

Our technicians completed 8.5 hours of RACE C.E. Credits in a series of 5 modules to: 1. Review the fundamental aspects of cardiopulmonary structure and function to help  understand the basic mechanisms they employ to do chest compressions and ventilation in patients experiencing cardiopulmonary arrest (CPA). 2. Learn how to diagnose CPA rapidly in any unresponsive patient using a standardized airway-breathing assessment. 3. Choose the best approach to chest compressions in a dog or cat based on the patient's size and chest conformation. 4. Learn how to ventilate a patient during CPR using either the mouth-to-snout technique or continuous ventilation in an intubated patient. 5. Explore techniques for improving communication and team dynamics when treating an emergent case such as a patient in CPA.

According to the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care, when CPR is done according to established guidelines, survival to discharge can be as high as 50% in some populations of dogs and cats in CPA with acute, reversible disease. This course was a giant step to preparing our team to maximize outcomes in patients with CPA.

Our highly trained technicians are now trained to: • Rapidly recognize patients with cardiopulmonary arrest • Properly administer high-quality chest compressions using the most up-to-date approaches in dogs and cats • Provide mouth-to-snout or intubated ventilation according to current evidence-based guidelines • Utilize effective communication and team skills that will improve our ability to manage emergent and critically ill patients • Choose the most useful monitoring devices for patients in cardiopulmonary arrest • Read and interpret the data from the various monitoring devices • Rapidly diagnose the arrest ECG rhythm to help choose the best ALS therapies for the patient • Administer the most effective drugs and other adjunctive therapies for patients with cardiopulmonary arrest • Perform life-saving procedures such as venous cutdowns, intraosseous catheter placement, use of defibrillator, and open chest CPR

We’re proud of the accomplishments of our team!  Take a look at some hands-on training.

• Perform 100-120 chest compressions per minute of one-third to one-half of the chest width, with the animal lying on its side. • Ventilate intubated dogs and cats at a rate of 10 breaths per minute, or at a compression to ventilation ratio of 30 to 2 for mouth-to-snout ventilation. • Perform CPR in 2-minute cycles, switching the “compressor” each cycle. • Administer vasopressors every 3–5 minutes during CPR. • Using the defibrillator at 2-4 joules/kg for advanced life support.

Other guidelines pertain to how clinicians should be trained, how to perform CPR on dogs of different breeds and sizes, what drugs to give when and what follow-up care to provide.