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Vets are giving ventilators usually used on animals to the NHS to help with equipment shortages.
Director of clinical research and excellence in practice at VetPartners Limited, Dr Rachel Dean, explained that some ventilators used on animals are the same as those used on humans and they are being deployed to hospitals. She said:
We are providing ventilators but also monitoring and general anaesthetic equipment. Some of the equipment we have is specifically made for animals. But some of the kit we use was originally manufactured for humans so it is appropriate to use in human healthcare setting.
If we are using a human ventilator it is usually one used on paediatrics as our patients are smaller. They will be most useful in children patients.
Our job as veterinary professionals is to safeguard animal welfare and we are doing all we can in this climate to achieve that.
It is a challenging time and are ways of ventilating animals that don’t involve that machine. That would be one team member inflating an animal’s lungs and might be people having to do that but if we can give the NHS a machine to make them less heavy and we have to do more work for our patients then that is what we have to do.
The Scottish government is setting up its own expert group to advise ministers on coronavirus strategies in case Scotland pursues different policies to the rest of the UK, Nicola Sturgeon has said.
The first minister said the new Covid-19 advisory group, which will be chaired by Prof Andrew Morris, director of health research UK and a data expert at Edinburgh university, would supplement advice to Scottish ministers from the UK scientific advisory group on emergencies. At her daily briefing she said:
As the number of cases increase its very more important we have the fullest possible understanding of actually how the virus is spreading in Scotland.
We need to be certain the decisions we’re taking are the most effective possible and we need to know if there are more steps required to be taken.