THE MERCK VETERINARY MANUAL
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Ready Area in Emergency Medicine

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A central area of the clinic should be designated as the ‘‘ready area,” where resuscitation therapeutics and equipment are organized and available for immediate use. Front desk and triage staff should be aware of presenting conditions that require immediate evaluation by a veterinarian. All members of the veterinary team must be familiar with the ready area and location of all necessary emergency equipment and medications. Regular drills should be organized for emergency situations such as CPA with subsequent cardiopulmonary resuscitation efforts to ensure everyone knows his or her role and to improve techniques. An emergency treatment or “crash” cart should contain endotracheal tubes of various sizes, a laryngoscope, syringes of different sizes with 18- or 20-gauge needles attached, and drugs for cardiac resuscitation. Oxygen and a small and large bag-valve-mask apparatus or other ready access to oxygen (such as an anesthetic machine flushed free of anesthetic gas) should be immediately available, so positive-pressure ventilation can be started. Other necessary materials include hair clippers, surgical scrub, tape, intravenous and intraosseous catheters with flushing solutions, intravenous isotonic crystalloids, pressure infusion bags, synthetic colloids, bandage material, and trauma transport materials. Additional beneficial equipment includes a defibrillator, monitoring devices (ECG, SpO2, ETCO2, and indirect blood pressure), a suction unit with Yankauer and whistle tip suction attachments, and warming devices.

Last full review/revision October 2013 by Andrew Linklater, DVM, DACVECC

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