Anesthesia can be delicate so every bit of information that can be given during anesthesia is beneficial. Basic monitoring of heart rate and respiratory rate is nice but the addition of SPO2, blood pressure, temperature, and ongoing ECG readings allow us to determine changes in anesthesia much sooner. SPO2 (peripheral capillary oxygen saturation) is used to estimate the amount of oxygen with in the blood. Decreased oxygen in the blood can have life threatening effects. Blood pressure can vary a large amount during anesthesia due to response to the medications used. Monitoring blood pressures allows for better fluid and medication monitoring. If blood pressure gets too low or too high then vital organs can be damaged long term. Temperature becomes important due to potential effects of hypothermia or hyperthermia. Ongoing ECG monitoring allows for detection in changes of heart rate along with electrical impulses of the heart. When caught early these can be addressed with minimal issues. To better monitor these parameters, Trinity Veterinary Hospital has a dedicated assistant to monitor these values and your beloved Pet throughout the surgical procedure and recovery.
The above patient shows two different ECG reading strands. The top one shows a 1st Degree AV block which is where there is a P wave that is not followed by a QRS and T waves. This can become life threating. However, it was quickly and easily identified at our clinic with our monitoring capabilities. Medication was given to correct the problem and the lower ECG reading was taken shortly after the medication. The remaining anesthesia was uneventful.