British Heart Foundation benefits from Willows’ new ‘Assistance Dog’
16 January 2012
Willows spent rather more than usual on a stuffed-toy dog recently, in fact he cost in excess of £2000!. Other than vaguely resembling an Airedale Terrier, he is also a CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) mannequin, an invaluable training aid for all clinical staff. The mannequin is similar to the well known ‘Resuss Annie’, used to teach life saving First Aid in humans, but with many additional features. We are able to intubate his trachea (the windpipe), ventilate his chest, perform cardiac massage and simulate a pulse. Willows deals with critically ill patients and has two fully stocked crash trolleys and two defibrillators for use in the event of a real life emergency, so ongoing training for all staff who may be involved with the resuscitation of a patient is vital. By training staff in this way, we are also ensuring that we are more than meeting current guidelines in both veterinary and human medicine.
All clinical staff receive instruction in CPR from our specialist anaesthetists at least once a year, and our new addition is already earning his keep as their assistant. As well as regular scheduled training sessions, intermittent role play at opportune times helps to boost staff confidence and skill levels. The mannequin can also be used at other times to train staff to safely place jugular and peripheral intravenous catheters.
As a valued member of the practice team it seemed a shame for new assistance dog to remain anonymous, so at our recent Christmas party we held a naming competition and the clear winner was “Lazarus”. As responsible owners we have ensured that Lazarus now wears an appropriate name tag, and the practice has donated £100 to the British Heart Foundation in his name.
In 2012 our anaesthetists and Lazarus will be taking to the highways, when they will be visiting local veterinary practices to help train more veterinary personnel in these vital, life-saving procedures. We know that Lazarus’s heart will be in it!