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Rough Anesthetic Recoveries with Dr. Costa

Renata S. Costa, DVM, MPhil, MANZCVS, GradDipEd, DACVAA, Midwestern University, Glendale, Arizona

In this episode, host Alyssa Watson, DVM, talks with Renata S. Costa, DVM, MPhil, MANZCVS, GradDipEd, DACVAA, about her recent Clinician’s Brief article, “Rough Anesthetic Recoveries.” Dr. Costa shares why rough recoveries happen and a list of the most relevant differential diagnoses, including how to assess and manage them. She also expands on a few of the more tricky differentials: emergence delirium, opioid dysphoria, and benzodiazepine disinhibition.

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Key Takeaways

  • Six common causes of rough anesthetic recovery are emergence delirium, pain, anxiety/fear, bladder distension, opioid dysphoria, benzodiazepine disinhibition.
  • Post-anesthetic monitoring techniques and length of time depend on the type of procedure and the patient’s health status.
  • As a default, heart rate, pulse rate, respiratory rate, mucus membrane color, and temperature should always be monitored until the patient is fully recovered. A patient should only be considered fully recovered after vitals have returned to normal values and the animal is alert and responsive.
  • Ideally, recovery should be done in a quiet location to allow for a slow and calm awakening with continuous monitoring. But if you must choose between a quiet area with less ability to monitor and a louder, busier area with more frequent monitoring, choose the area where the patient can be monitored more often, as monitoring is most important.

About the Guest

Renata S. Costa, DVM, MPhil, MANZCVS, GradDipEd, DACVAA, is an assistant professor of anesthesiology at Midwestern University in Glendale, Arizona. She earned her DVM from Federal University of Minas Gerais in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, and her MPhil and graduate diploma in education from Murdoch University in Perth, Australia. Dr. Costa completed an internship at Murdoch University and an anesthesia residency at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University.

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The Team:

  • Alyssa Watson, DVM - Host
  • Alexis Ussery - Producer & Digital Content Coordinator
  • Randall Stupka - Podcast Production & Sound Editing
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