IndustryNewsBSAVA Cognitive Aids for Anaesthesia



The BSAVA has added a new ‘essential’ anaesthesia guide to its collection of resources for clinical practitioners. Cognitive Aids for Anaesthesia in Small Animal Practice, written by veterinary anaesthesia specialist Matt McMillan, includes checklists that should be completed as part of any anaesthetic procedure, as well as troubleshooting guides and crisis checklists. Cognitive aids can help save lives and reduce the incidence of complications, thus, in combination with appropriate training, this resource will be a valuable addition to any surgical team’s operating toolkit.

Ian Self, Principal Clinical Anaesthetist at the University of Cambridge Department for Veterinary Medicine said: “This handbook should be viewed as a ‘second pair of eyes’ throughout a procedure, especially if an anaesthetised patient deteriorates; consider it as having an experienced anaesthetist looking over your shoulder offering words of advice… I am very happy to endorse this exciting new BSAVA resource.”

Cognitive aids are visual prompts that aim to reduce human error in critical processes by providing a supportive scaffolding that ensures tasks are performed and communicated appropriately. They are designed for use whilst a task is being undertaken and enable individuals to concentrate on problem-solving and decision-making.

The BSAVA Cognitive Aids for Anaesthesia in Small Animal Practice includes routine checklists, such as pre-anaesthetic assessment, equipment checks and postoperative handover, as well as crisis checklists for potential complications that may be encountered during surgery, such as hypotension, bradycardia and haemorrhage. The guide also includes downloadable forms, which can be used in practice to ensure safety checks are completed and help improve clinical outcomes. These forms are available via the BSAVA Library (

The BSAVA Cognitive Aids for Anaesthesia in Small Animal Practice is now available from the BSAVA website ( or by phone on 01452 726700 (£25; BSAVA members: £15).