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Breaking a leg in recovery room after anesthesia

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  • Breaking a leg in recovery room after anesthesia

    I lost a mare after colic surgery. She slipped trying to get up from the bloody rubber floor mat (that is on cement and basicly has NO padding.) She broke a bone up in the thigh area. Yes, I received the $4200 bill for the surgery, and yes I paid it. They were "good enough" not to charge $5000 because she didn't need all the post-op care.


    My husband was speaking with a friend of his who lost a small Arab (size didn't seem to matter, as mine was huge) .. his horse slipped and broke a leg or pelvis .. something bad. Same vet hospital

    Spoke with a friend and behold... she lost one to the same thing at another hospital, that had a good reputation.

    Fancy dressage million dollar plus horse in Europe (Farbenfrough spelling??) didn't he go the same way??

    Ruffian.

    Is there no better way these days? Those rubber mats are hard as the cement they cover. I know the need to sterilize the room afterward, so sand or shavings wouldn't be good. Though if I have a need again I may buy many bags of shavings and clean it out myself.

    How common it this??

    Oops, this should be under Horse care. Well, the mare was Hanoverian and had just foaled. She coliced and we got her to the hospital.. We fed the filly every 2 hours for a couple of months (who needs to sleep.) She is now a wonderful, athletic and fun to ride 4 year old.
    Last edited by Tangerine Farmer; Oct. 28, 2009, 10:55 PM. Reason: wrong section.. Horse care

  • #2
    I don't know how common it is, but I'm really sorry for your loss. That must be particularly hard to deal with.

    Comment


    • #3
      Why was the floor of the "recovery room" bloody?? That is a HUGE problem. Typically, the recovery room is a completely different area than the surgical suite, and vet hospitals would be opening themselves up to a HUGE liability if they allowed horses to recover on a wet surface. Knowing the risks involved in a horse recovering from anesthesia, I cannot imagine a hospital that would allow this to happen on a bloody floor...

      That being said, a lot of the more advanced hospitals are offering pool recoveries in which the horse comes around while partially submerged in a raft type harness that keeps them afloat. This eliminates a lot of the weight bearing and thrashing issues that occur coming around.

      Here is a picture of Barbaro in the raft: http://www.thehorse.com/images/content/barbaro_pool.jpg

      Of course, such recovery would cost a lot more than normal recovery in a padded stall, so the owner would have to be prepared for that cost up front.

      I am sorry for your loss, and certainly hope your vet hospital doesn't make it a regular practice to allow animals to recover on bloody floors. If that's the case, there needs to be some type of investigation regarding this practice.
      Here today, gone tomorrow...

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      • #4
        Originally posted by FrenchFrytheEqHorse View Post
        Why was the floor of the "recovery room" bloody?? That is a HUGE problem. Typically, the recovery room is a completely different area than the surgical suite, and vet hospitals would be opening themselves up to a HUGE liability if they allowed horses to recover on a wet surface. Knowing the risks involved in a horse recovering from anesthesia, I cannot imagine a hospital that would allow this to happen on a bloody floor...

        That being said, a lot of the more advanced hospitals are offering pool recoveries in which the horse comes around while partially submerged in a raft type harness that keeps them afloat. This eliminates a lot of the weight bearing and thrashing issues that occur coming around.

        Here is a picture of Barbaro in the raft: http://www.thehorse.com/images/content/barbaro_pool.jpg

        Of course, such recovery would cost a lot more than normal recovery in a padded stall, so the owner would have to be prepared for that cost up front.

        I am sorry for your loss, and certainly hope your vet hospital doesn't make it a regular practice to allow animals to recover on bloody floors. If that's the case, there needs to be some type of investigation regarding this practice.
        Ditto all of this.

        Comment


        • #5
          I think the OP was using 'bloody' like a Yank would use 'damn' rather than meaning the floor was running with blood.

          That said, it's clearly a huge risk. I think the recovery pool at Penn is ingenious.
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          • #6
            I knew a Welsh breeder in Texas that lost a mare the same way at Texas A&M, I believe. This was a number of years ago, but she had done well through the colic surgery and everyone was optimistic -- then she broke her leg in recovery and had to be put down. Very sad.

            I'm sorry for your loss.
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            • #7
              I agree that the U Penn idea of a pool for recovery sounds great. I did hear that U Penn, at least when they first had the pool, were losing a lot of horses to pneumonia from inhaling the pool water when they woke up. The overall death rates were no different between a traditional recovery stall and a pool recovery.

              I think there are all kinds of statistics about leg fractures in recovery. As I recall (maybe incorrectly) younger horses and TBs had much higher fracture rates than older horses and draft breeds. Horses who had anesthesia on multiple occasions were much less likely to fracture a leg than horses who were having their first anesthesia.

              If we could get more money to the vet hospitals, their anesthesiologists would be happy to do more studies on techniques to maximize survival after surgery. As it is now, the vet hospitals barely survive. The hospital near us recently laid off some of their surgeons.

              Comment


              • #8
                My gelding had pastern arthrodesis surgery in August and was assisted up with a rope recovery system http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=13847 This was a small clinic with good care. I am surprised every hospital doesn't have at least a rope recovery system.

                My deepest condolences for your loss!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Ok, bloody or bloody...


                  I don't think I've ever seen a recovery room that wasn't completely covered in those blue squishy mats. Floor and walls.


                  How many facilities actually have the recovery pools?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Oh, I'm so sorry for your loss!!
                    I had a mare about 4 years ago who went in for surgery, and broke her hock in a panic waking up. They had a helmet on her, but no other padding. Made me so mad. I thought that I could ride her afterwards, but her hock never recovered fully.
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                    • #11
                      which hospital did you take her to? I have heard not so good things about the recovery room in the one i actually sent a horse to for colic surgery and thankfully she came out fine. PM me if you'd like.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'm so sorry, that must have been horrible to have her come through colic surgery than lose her to that.

                        I also have NO idea why there would be blood on the floor? At the University I use, they have a padded recovery room and support the horse from outside the stall by ropes attached to it's head and tail, or they are put in a sling, depending. Accidents happen, but having a horse slip on a bloody floor is inexcusable.

                        I've only had a few that had to go under. One recovered no problem after corrected a post castration evisceration (fairly major surgery). The other had a very rough recovery after having his jaw wired back together... I'm thankful that he did no get injured. He also wore a helmet and was in the padded room. I like the pool recovery systems, I wonder how much it costs to have a horse recover in there, as opposed to in the recovery room. How common are the recovery pools these days?
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                        • #13
                          Wow, you'd think that if they didn't have a padded room they would atleast have a floor with good traction.

                          Sorry for your loss.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            like human hospitals

                            I'm very sorry for your loss, and I don't mean in any way to suggest you could have done anything to prevent it. I think part of your underlying message is how can this kind of thing happen? Why wasn't there more protection?

                            I have had horses at reputable surgical facilities and have come to the conclusion that the owner needs to be on site, a quiet presence making sure all is going well -- just the way relatives do in human hospitals. Ask what painkillers they're on, monitor for signs of colic, check the charts (if they are left out) to make sure the meds are being administered -- in short, don't be an absentee owner and assume everyone will do right by your horse.

                            I won't go into detail, but as an example. I left a miracle collar for my horse, an occasional cribber. I came out to the facility to find him yawing and clearly uncomfortable post-surgery. I was ready to get someone when I saw that the cribbing collar was applied wrong -- far down on his neck, pressing on the windpipe, nowhere near the throat latch. I removed it and he showed immediate signs of relief. He had worn that collar for at least a full day.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I will say that when I took my mare to UF a year ago for colic surgery that they had her in a completly padded room (even the floor had the squishy padding). There are still risks of course - and I hear that normally they have breaks from panicing when they come out of the anesthesia. UF also encouraged me to be there as she was coming out of it (she was already up when they let me in but she was still very groggy) and it did perk her up when I went in the stall with her. They let me stay with her as long as I wanted (about a half hour - at almost midnight) and let me come back early in the am and stay with her for more than an hour the next day.

                              I can't imagine the horror of getting a call that my mare had broke a leg waking up. I'm so sorry for your loss.
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                              • #16
                                Awful about your mare, after she made it thru surgery to die from a rescovery room accident.

                                When I took my friend's horse for colic surgery in 2006, the recovery room was padded with thick foam padding on the floors.. However, her old 17.1 eventer woke up, staggered around, and ended up falling in a corner with his head and neck at a strange angle and he couldn't get up. I wanted the vet who was then working there (not our surgeon who is wonderful) to let us go in and pull the horse away from the wall, but she insisted that he was fine. (She is no longer employed by our vet/surgeon.) So of course the vet techs did have to go in and pull him away from the corner in order to get him up.

                                The horse lived, thanks to our great surgeon, but he did gash his head on the wall and had to have stitches. We could watch him in the recovery room on the video camera just outside the room, and after viewing his staggering and falling, I would want some kind of restraint or something to prevent the awkward falling while under the influence of the anesthesia.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  When I went out to CA for the inspections, there is a clinic we took a tour of that has two pools where the horse is placed. It goes into a plastic bag first, so it doesn't get wet. Wonderful way to come out of anesthesia! A horse was just coming out of anesthesia when we were there. Nice and quiet, too. I highly recommend this! Even U of Florida and Equine Medical Center on 326 have very heavily padded areas where they come back up. I can't imagine using a clinic with bloodly (?) and hard areas. There should have been no blood at that time. This does not sound right.
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                                  • #18
                                    So sorry for your loss - thoughts and prayers.
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                                    • #19
                                      So sorry for your loss. It doesn't surprise me though, I have heard of that happening.

                                      When our mare fractured her hock, we decided not to have surgery done because of this risk - she already had hairlines radiating up her leg beyond her hock, and the vets were worried that if she stumbled as she got up in recovery from anesthesia that her whole leg could shatter.
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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Seven-up View Post
                                        I don't think I've ever seen a recovery room that wasn't completely covered in those blue squishy mats. Floor and walls.
                                        Me neither. All the ones I've seen are like you have described 7-up.

                                        Very sorry to hear about your horse OP.

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