Suspected electrically induced ventricular fibrillation during thoracoscopic partial pericardectomy in two dogs

01 Feb 2019

Studer, N., Vizcaino Reves, N., Rytz, U., Iff, I.

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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.