State of the art intensive care ventilator arrives

The Vets Now Pet Emergency Hospital in Glasgow is proud to announce the acquisition of a state-of-the-art ventilator in an ongoing commitment to provide excellent standards of care for our patients.

A European first for Vets Now

The intensive care ventilator (a Puritan Bennett 980 by Covidien) is the most advanced current model. Although used by the NHS, our machine is the only one of its kind used in veterinary medicine within Europe. It will enable us to treat patients ranging from 0.3 to 150kg who need respiratory support or mechanical ventilation which can be delivered by positive pressure ventilation, via endotracheal tube or tracheostomy tube, using several modes of ventilation.


What is the difference between an anaesthetic ventilator and an intensive care ventilator?

The intensive care ventilator (like our Puritan Bennett 980) is a very sophisticated piece of equipment that is not only able to repeatedly deliver a very accurate amount of air to a patient, but also enables us to have a patient on ventilator support for a prolonged period of time to give the patient a chance to clinically improve. This is done by an array of possibilities regarding ventilation modes and feedback mechanisms that allow us to precisely tailor the respiratory therapy for each individual patient. For example, the machine will detect when the patient wants to draw a breath and will then be able to assist the patient with a breath by delivering a specific volume at a specific pressure; as the patient starts to recover, the level of support can then be adjusted accordingly. By assessing the changes when a breath is given, the ventilator can even measure the compliance of the lungs as it changes through the course of a disease.

What kind of patients would benefit from mechanical ventilation?

There is a wide range of patients that would benefit, in fact, for some patients this would be the only alternative to euthanasia. Patients that suffer from low blood oxygen levels (hypoxaemia), suffer ventilation issues leading to high CO2 levels (hypercapnia) and patients that have exhausted themselves due to labored breathing (dyspnea) and are in danger of respiratory failure would be candidates for the ventilator. Patients suffering from pneumonia (aspiration/bacterial), lung oedema, pulmonary thromboembolism, head trauma patients, other neurological patients that have decreased ventilator drive or ability (e.g. polyradiculoneuritis), trauma patients, etc. 

What is involved in the care of a patient needingmechanical ventilation?

The patient is most often maintained on a continuous rate infusion (CRI) of anaesthetic agents and needs 24hr intensive care. This includes eye, oral, endotracheal tube and urinary care for the patient, as well as meeting their nutritional needs, often delivered by parenteral techniques. Ventilatory strategy is reviewed constantly to decrease the intensity of ventilation as soon as permissible and “weaning strategies” are used to facilitate a smooth recovery.

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