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Keywords:

  • cardiac arrest;
  • CPR;
  • critical care;
  • performance assessment

Abstract

Objective – To characterize the provision of CPCR by small animal veterinarians in clinical practice and to assess how this practice varies among different levels of expertise.

Design – Internet-based survey.

Setting – Academia, referral practice, and general practice.

Subjects – Six hundred and two small animal veterinarians in clinical practice. Respondents were grouped a priori according to level of expertise: board-certified (ACVECC, ACVA, ECVAA) specialists; general practitioners in emergency clinics; general practitioners in general practice (GPG).

Interventions – Email invitations to the online questionnaire were disseminated via a veterinary internet platform and mailing list server discussion groups. Questions explored respondent characteristics, CPCR preparedness, infrastructural and personnel resources, and techniques of basic and advanced life support.

Main Results – In this group of practitioners, the majority (65%) were in general practice. GPG were more likely to perform CPCR <5 times per year and to have 3 or fewer members on their resuscitation team. Most practitioners have a crash cart and drug-dosing chart available. GPG were less likely to obtain resuscitation codes on their patients, and less likely to use end-tidal carbon dioxide monitoring or defibrillation. Intubation, oxygen supplementation, vascular access, and external thoracic compressions were widely used, however, GPG were more likely to use lower chest compression rates. Drugs used for CPCR differed among the groups with GPG more likely to use doxapram and glucocorticoids.

Conclusions – CPCR is heterogeneously performed in small animal veterinary medicine; differences exist, both among and within different types of veterinarians with varying levels of expertise, in respect to available infrastructure, personnel and CPCR techniques used.