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Vet Nurse Diary: 10 Reasons to place your anaesthetised patient on IV fluids

Posted in Veterinary Nurse/Tech Blog @ Mar 25th 2021 - By Melissa Giles, Vet Nurse Diary
Vet Nurse Diary 10 Reasons To Place Your Anaesthetised Patient On Iv Fluids

BEFORE anaesthetising them!

Does your clinic place patients undergoing general anaesthetic for routine procedures on IV fluids every time?

Yes, even the procedures that take less time than actually placing the IV in.... *cough* cat castrates *cough*

There are so many benefits to doing this and it is usually as low cost as it is beneficial!

10 Reasons to place your anaesthetised patient on IV fluids (BEFORE anaesthetising them!)

1. Access for life-saving drugs

Allows for the administration of emergency drugs as soon as they are required. Once your patient has crashed, you could struggle to raise a vein quickly.

2. Access for additional analgesia

As well as analgesia, we are able to administer additional anaesthetic agents and antibiotics if required. Through this mode they are absorbed almost immediately into the blood stream.

3. Prevent clots in the catheter

A continuous flow of fluid through the catheter will help to prevent blood clots from forming inside it and ensure it is viable when needed in an emergency.

4. Helps to maintain blood pressure and blood volume

Some negative effects from the anaesthetic agents used (like hypotension and vasodilation) can be countered with IV fluids.

5. Pre-Anaesthetic Fluids

Sick and/or geriatric patients could benefit from pre-ga fluids to help with any electrolyte imbalances they may have before going under anaesthetic.

6. Prevent or correct dehydration

Most patients coming in for routine surgical procedures have been fasting for around 12 hours. This means that they are likely already dehydrated before they're even anaesthetised.

7. Helps balance fluid loss

Our patients continue to produce urine when under anaesthetic. This, coupled with any blood loss and fluid evaporation from exposed tissue during surgery, can be managed with fluid therapy.

8. Smoother, faster recovery time

IV fluid dilutes anaesthetic agents and allows them to be metabolised faster and pushed out through those kidneys and liver.

9. Assists wound healing

IV fluids during anaesthetic ensures that all the vital organs are well perfused, including the skin where oxygenation is increased creating an environment where wound healing is promoted.

10. Helps control body temperature

A patient's body temperature will continue to drop during anaesthesia unless precautions and counter measures are used. By administering warm IV fluid we help to prevent internal temperature from dropping into hypothermia.

If you have any questions for Mel, ask them in the Comments section below.

About Mel

Mel was born in South Africa and always knew she needed to work with animals one day. She volunteered at a local Vet clinic as soon as she was able and fell even more in love with the profession. 

When she was 16 her family moved halfway across the world to Australia where she completed her schooling and immediately (2 weeks after her final exams) signed on to a clinic as a trainee Vet Nurse and began her nursing studies!

She hasn't stopped learning since and is incredibly excited by the future of Vet Nursing and all the things she has yet to learn and share! 

Follow Mel on Instagram by clicking HERE: vetnursediary_mel

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