Use of a surgical safety checklist in reducing postoperative complications

Annika Bergstrom and others, Uppsala University Sweden

Research in human hospitals has indicated that using a surgical safety checklist can result in a significant reduction in postoperative mortality and morbidity. While preliminary studies in veterinary teaching hospitals have suggested similar benefits, there is little information available of an equivalent impact in a general practice setting, The authors examined the postoperative complication rates in first opinion clinics following 220 cases undertaken with, and 300 without, using a checklist adapted from human surgical practice. Their results show that there were significantly more complications in the group treated without the use of the checklist, with a higher frequency of surgical site infections and a greater proportion experiencing wound-healing complications, They suggest that these checklists should be considered for use in all small animal surgical clinics. However; care must be taken to ensure that the checklist is short and easy to use, and staff should receive occasional updates to their training.

Veterinary Surgery 45(5), 571—576

Smartphone-based electrocardiograph measurements in dogs and cats

Marc Kraus and others, Cornell University, New York State

Heart function and arrhythmias have been investigated using standard six-lead ECGs in human medicine for more than a century In 2012 a technology was approved for use in human patients that incorporates electrodes in a handheld case that can be attached to a smart phone. The authors investigated the use of this method to examine heart rate and rhythm in companion animals. Their findings show that the device accurately recorded heart function and that it could be used to evaluate and manage cardiac arrhythmias relatively inexpensively at the cage side. It also allows clinicians to share information by email, facilitating further discussions and improving quality of care.

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 249(2), 189-194

Behavioural and welfare implications of stress in owned cats

Marta Amat and others, University of Barcelona, Spain

Domestic cats can be exposed to a range of stressful stimuli, such as a barren or unpredictable environment, a poor relationship with their owners or inter-cat conflict. These experiences may adversely affect their welfare and behaviour and lead to serious medical conditions. The authors review the various strategies available to reduce or prevent stress-related behavioural problems. They suggest that treating behavioural signs of stress such as house soiling and aggression may involve environmental enrichment, management changes and the use of synthetic pheromones.

Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery 18(8), 577-586

Pinch-induced behavioural inhibition as a restraint method for cats

Valentina Nuti and others, University of Pisa, Italy

Cats may experience various minimally invasive or forced procedures during routine examinations, which are often poorly tolerated and therefore require physical restraint. The authors investigate the use of pinch-induced behavioural inhibition with stationery clips, or clipthesia, as an alternative to manual scruffing. Heart rate and pupillary dilation were higher during scruffing, while plasma cortisol levels did not differ between groups. The more responsive the cats were to clipthesia, the more likely they were to display kneading and purring. Their findings suggest that this method is no more stressful than scruffing during a veterinary examination but not all cats were amenable to this form of restraint.

Animal Welfare 25(1), 115-123

Antibacterial efficacy of different surgical hand scrubs

Po-Yen Chou and others, Atlantic Veterinary College, Prince Edward Island, Canada

Unintentional transfer of microorganisms from surgical staff is a significant cause of wound infections. Use of gloves reduces the risks but defects and punctures occur commonly in these products and so the surgeon should undergo adequate hand disinfection to operate safely The authors examined the efficacy of different disinfection products used for between 90 seconds and three minutes, assessed both at the end of hand preparation and following surgery Their findings suggest that a 4% chlorhexidine gluconate solution or an ethanol/ chlorhexidine gluconate combination produced better results than a mixed l-propanol/2-propanol solution, or a 70% 2-propanol solution. Increasing contact time did not significantly affect bacterial reduction.

Veterinary Surgery 45(4), 515-522

Bilious vomiting syndrome in dogs

Leah Ferguson and others, Colorado State University

Bilious vomiting syndrome is a poorly understood condition associated with the early morning emission of bile. The authors carried out a retrospective evaluation of the records of dogs seen at a university hospital over a 12-year period. They found 17 dogs in which this condition was suspected although an eventual diagnosis was made of gastric adenocarcinoma, dietary indiscretion or hepatopathy in three cases. Twelve dogs improved with therapy involving frequent feeding, late evening meals, and gastric reflux reducers. However, five dogs showed no improvement or were lost to follow up.

Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 52(3), 157-161

VOL 32 • January 2017 • Veterinary Nursing Journal