The Anesthesia Service of Widener Hospital is integrated in the Section of Emergency, Critical Care and Anesthesia.
The University of Pennsylvania was one of the first veterinary hospitals to establish anesthesia as an independent speciality service, with Drs. Larry Soma and Alan Klide as pioneers in the field. Several of our nurses were instrumental in the development of the certification process for specialized veterinary nurse anesthetists.
Throughout the years, veterinary anesthesiology has followed human medicine with regard to providing the safest possible anesthetics, assisted ventilation and oxygen delivery, and constant monitoring and support of vital status. Education in pharmacology, cardiology, pain management, and other relevant fields is provided on a continual basis for staff members. Staff members are responsible for administering anesthesia, monitoring vital functions such as EKG, blood pressure (through direct and/or indirect devices), pulse oximetry, end tidal CO2, and cardiac output using state-of-the art anesthesia equipment and monitors.
The case load is varied, from healthy animals for routine procedures to patients undergoing complex colic or other soft tissue as well as fracture repair surgery. Patients include horses, ruminants, pigs, camelids, and zoo and wildlife animals. From evaluation and handling of the patient prior to the procedure, to ensuring optimal management throughout the procedure and post-operatively, delivering anesthesia safely to such a variety of species provides an exciting challenge. Providing comfort and quality pain management to the patient throughout the process makes the job extremely rewarding.