ok...so i've been slacking on the blog...again...sorry
this semester is a real bear! i've got no classes on fridays...but have come to realize that that is so we have a day to tackle all the work we've got.
had my first live patient this past thursday...one of my classes focuses mostly on anesthesia, so this lab class was using pre-anesthetic drugs and sedatives. we have to keep a journal for that class, so i've decided to post what i turned in to describe what i did...enjoy!
Mariah Hubbs – Group 5b
Our assignments today involved the sedation/tranquilization of one of our SPCA animals here for the semester. Our group was assigned the use of Atropine, Xylazine and Yohimbine. I was very nervous as this would be my very first time injecting an animal and I was not as prepared as I should have been. Assuming the role of anesthetist this time around, I should have re-read the information on the drugs we’d be using and the possible and/or expected effects on the animal. Even in future labs when I’m NOT the anesthetist, I’ll be reading up on them anyway…each member of the team should be familiar with the drugs used and know what to expect/look for during their use.
This is an obvious point and one that I really shouldn’t have overlooked. I won’t do that again.
We had Ringo as our patient today. He’s such a sweet dog! I got to school early so that he could have a nice, long walk before his ordeal. My hope was that he’d get some energy spent and therefore be a little tired and more at ease during this mornings PE and procedure. It was a good thought, but I think maybe we had him out too long before our procedure began. He was very wiggly and worked up by the time we started. I’ll have to remember that for next time.
Things started out well, I learned a new fact too. When drawing up liquid drugs from a vial, push a little air into the container first. That’ll help keep the pressure inside the vial in good shape for future users. I also learned the right way to brace/hold a syringe to tap the air bubbles out. It’s amazing how the smallest tips can really change the way you work and the quality of your work too!
Having never performed an injection before, I think I did pretty well once it came time. I could’ve pushed the Atropine SQ injection faster and I need to work on the way I hold the syringe, but Ringo was a trooper and held pretty still for that one. When it came time to give the Xylazine injection, things went well too. Xylazine was an IM injection and after reviewing the proper hold, it went well thought I could’ve delivered it a little faster too.
The most fascinating part of lab today was after the Xylazine injection. While discussing drugs Dr. Hastings mentioned that it’s been reported to produce some personality changes in animals. Well, we were about to see a severe change in Ringo. A few minutes after the injection, he still hadn’t laid down as we expected he would. He tried to walk some and started looking a little dopey. He picked a spot between the eye wash and the corner cabinets to stand. He’d sway a little, his rear legs splayed a bit and his head down. At this point we were wondering when he’d decided to finally lay down, but he didn’t. His breathing and pulse were okay this whole time and Dr. Hastings went toward him to check again when he suddenly curled his lips, snarled and snapped at her. It was an out of the blue reaction. From then, until the reverser drug Yobine was given, he’d curl his lips up and growl whenever Dr. Hastings got too close. The rest of us didn’t venture too close either. It was amazing to see such a drastic change in personality. This sweet, affectionate dog that’d let us poke and prod him quite a bit during physical exam was now bearing his teeth at anyone closer than 3 feet from him. He was obviously fighting the drug the entire time and in order to get our radiograph we had to muzzle him. While on the radiograph table his leg started to shake and twitch and I got nervous, thinking he may be going into seizure or something but he didn’t.
We got our radiograph and took Ringo back into the lab. We laid him on the floor on a towel and he stayed there. By this time it seemed like maybe he was finally giving in, but Dr. Hastings remarked that he was probably starting to come out of it. We shaved a spot on the right foreleg to inject the Yobine IV into. (I learned something here, too…that when shaving and using clippers to turn on the clippers while several feet away from the patient and approach them slowly as the sound can startle them and perhaps trigger unwanted reactions) Upon injection of the Yobine, which again I need to work on my technique, Ringo seemed to almost immediately come around. Within a few minutes he was up and walking around, even starting to nudge Dr. Hastings for some lovin’.
Though it may not have been the greatest experience for Ringo, I was excited to be able to see such a reaction. A wonderful, if extreme, example of what Xylezine can do. Obviously Ringo should not get Xylezine again and it was entered into his record as such.
For my first CP1 lab and my first injections working with a live patient was really positive. I felt comfortable working with my teammates and was grateful for Dr. Hastings guidance. I’ll definitely feel more secure for our next lab assignment and look forward to them. Nothing beats practical experience for learning and retaining information. I learned many lessons today and won’t forget them any time soon.