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Denise Prisk

Denise Prisk ~ DipAVN Surgical VTS Anesthesia Analgesia LTCL LCGI RVN

2018 VetCPD Congress Lectures

Anaesthesia SOS! Anaesthetic emergencies

Anaesthesia is – or should be – a controlled, reversible state of unconsciousness, but sometimes things go wrong and an emergency occurs. There are many reasons why emergencies happen, ranging from human error, lack of knowledge to a disease process.

This lecture will look at some of the more common types of emergencies that arise, discuss how to detect and prevent impending crises, and explain how to manage them when prevention is not possible.

Anaesthesia of the geriatric patient

Geriatric patients present specific anaesthetic concerns and it is important to understand the physiological changes that occur with age, and how these affect the anaesthetised patient. Changes to the various body systems that occur with advancing age will be discussed in this lecture, and there will be a short section on anaesthetic and analgesic drugs, because pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics are altered in geriatric patients.

Peri-anaesthetic nursing considerations for the elderly patient are so important and the veterinary nurse can do much to help make the anaesthetic period as smooth and stress-free as possible.


Denise has had a long career in small, mixed and referral practice. She has taught veterinary nursing for many years and has been involved in the RCVS exam system for over 20 years.

In 2010, she attained the Veterinary Technician Specialist in Anesthesia and Analgesia qualification, and she is currently the Chief Examiner for the Academy of Veterinary Technicians in Anesthesia and Analgesia.

Denise has been a contributing author to anaesthesia textbooks and general nursing books, as well as having published journal articles. She works in referral practice part time as well as running her own in-practice training and CPD business.