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January 01, 2020

Interested in veterinary anesthesia? This organization may be for you

New society created with all veterinary professionals in mind
Published on December 11, 2019

North American veterinary professionals who want to know more about anesthesia and analgesia but don’t plan on specializing in the field now have a home: the North American Veterinary Anesthesia Society.

The new nonprofit organization was established through a partnership between the American College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia and the Academy of Veterinary Technicians in Anesthesia and Analgesia. The two groups saw a need to elevate standards of care and practice for veterinary anesthesia and analgesia, as well as support those providing anesthesia and analgesia to animal patients.

“There was a need to engage not just anesthesia specialists, but anyone involved in veterinary anesthesia to improve how we deliver anesthesia and analgesia to veterinary patients,” said Dr. Kris Kruse, a diplomate of the ACVAA and NAVAS president. “We recognized a desire among veterinary professionals for a centralized resource that could provide access to information needed for them to advance anesthesia care in their particular settings.”

Canine patient being anesthetized
The North American Veterinary Anesthesia Society was created with every member of the veterinary team in mind, regardless of whether they work at a teaching hospital or a general practice.

The NAVAS mission is akin to that of the Association of Veterinary Anaesthetists, which partners with the European College of Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia. Given the common missions, the NAVAS and the AVA have mutually agreed to share information and opportunities to promote anesthesia care globally.

The society debuted last September at the International Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Symposium in Washington, D.C. In addition to members of the ACVAA and the AVTAA, who receive membership in the society, the NAVAS has grown to roughly 60 members who aren’t affiliated with either organization.

There was a need to engage not just anesthesia specialists, but anyone involved in veterinary anesthesia to improve how we deliver anesthesia and analgesia to veterinary patients.

Dr. Kris Kruse, president, North American Veterinary Anesthesia Society

Dr. Khursheed Mama, an ACVAA diplomate and founding member of the society, described the NAVAS vision as one where all members of the veterinary community with an interest in anesthesia and analgesia come together to share information in an effort to maintain best practices that benefit animals entrusted to their care.

“Members of the veterinary and aligned professions will be able to look to NAVAS as a resource for education, research, and scientific progress in veterinary anesthesia and analgesia,” Dr. Mama said. “The partnership of ACVAA with AVTAA and other key stakeholders in veterinary anesthesia and analgesia creates a location for anyone in the profession to find expertise and guidance on scientifically based safe practice of veterinary anesthesia.”

“Moving forward,” she added, “NAVAS will continue to seek participation of members from other specialty colleges and organizations that have a significant role in providing anesthesia care to further the goal of improving veterinary anesthesia throughout North America.”

NAVAS members have access to an array of resources on the organization’s website, including a library, a calendar of continuing education events, and a forum for talking with colleagues. The website content is available to all members of NAVAS and, to a limited degree, nonmembers. It is intended to provide easily accessible and useful information for veterinarians, veterinary technicians, students, and industry partners, explained Jody Nugent-Deal, a registered veterinary technician and AVTAA liaison to the NAVAS board.

As Nugent-Deal explained, the NAVAS was created with every member of the veterinary team in mind, regardless of whether they work at a teaching hospital or a general practice. “Anesthesia and analgesia are performed every day in every type of practice, and these are areas where we can always be improving, especially now that advanced procedures are becoming more common,” she said.