Partial removal of the pericardium is the recommended treatment for dogs suffering from recurrent pericardial effusion. An electrosurgical unit is often used for tissue dissection in the thorax, especially with a minimally invasive surgical approach. This report describes the occurrence of ventricular fibrillation in two dogs while using an electrosurgical unit inside the thoracic cavity. Several characteristics implicate an electrically induced arrhythmia. While one dog could be resuscitated successfully, there was a fatal outcome in the other. This report highlights that a thorough understanding of the electrosurgical unit is important, in order to use it safely.
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Contributors NS: anaesthetic management of the case, preparation, writing and review of the manuscript. NVR: surgical management and clinical responsibility for case 1 and review of the manuscript. UR: surgical management and clinical responsibility for case 2 and review of the manuscript. II: supervision of the anaesthetic management, guidance, contribution and review of the manuscript.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data sharing statement No additional data are available.
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