Cardiovascular & Respiratory Emergencies

Subject VETS90036 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 2, - Taught online/distance.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 25-Jul-2016 to 23-Oct-2016
Assessment Period End 18-Nov-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 05-Aug-2016
Census Date 31-Aug-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 23-Sep-2016

The online contact hours include;

  • online tutorials
  • online lectures
  • exercises
  • webinars

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 36 hours
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours


To enrol in this subject, you must be admitted in the Graduate Certificate in Small Animal Emergency and Critical Care. This subject is not available for students admitted in any other courses.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Experience in small animal veterinary practice.

Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Commonwealth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Objectives, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this course are encouraged to discuss this matter with the Student Equity and Disability Support Team:


Dr Kylie Kelers


School of Melbourne Custom Programs


Subject Overview:

This subject focuses on initial patient assessment, resuscitation, cardiovascular and respiratory emergencies as well as the pathophysiological principles and interpretation of blood gases and acid-base. The subject will cover the fundamental pathophysiological and clinical aspects of these areas. Specifically, identification and management of shock, cardiac failure, pericardial tamponade, respiratory compromise and ventilatory failure will be addressed. Students will build on knowledge that was acquired as an undergraduate and develop a deeper understanding and improved clinical confidence in these areas. On completion of this subject students will have developed the knowledge necessary to understand and interpret blood gas and acid base information.

Learning Outcomes:

At the completion of the subject, students should be able to;

  • demonstrate knowledge and skills in emergency assessment and triage including but not limited to identification of shock and assessment of severity of shock, identification of respiratory distress and the severity of this distress, identification of a patient in cardiac failure.
  • describe appropriate resuscitation techniques for different types of shock, cardiovascular and respiratory emergencies
  • indicate appropriate monitoring during shock resuscitation and list appropriate resuscitation goals
  • outline the limitations of monitoring tools used in patients with shock, cardiac and respiratory emergencies
  • describe the fundamental pathophysiology of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome
  • name appropriate settings for mechanical ventilation of a patient with normal lungs and for a patient with poorly compliant lungs
  • list possible complications associated with mechanical ventilation
  • demonstrate understanding of the physiology of blood gases, oxygen delivery, and acid-base
  • interpret blood gas and acid base information
  • demonstrate knowledge of the physiology of lactate
  • demonstrate understanding of the use of lactate and as indicator and monitoring tool
  • demonstrate sound decision making of the diagnostic tests and monitoring choices used that allow further assessment of cardiac and respiratory emergencies
  • apply the core principles covered in this subject to case studies
  • Self-assessment by multiple choice questions following each tutorial (10 MCQ takes 20 minutes for each of 10 tutorials - 200 minutes total) and one prior to subject completion - 20%
  • Open-book multiple-choice examination of 50 questions which takes 100 minutes during the exam week - 50%
  • Interpretation of 25 case studies assessed by structured questions pertaining to each case (5 MCQ per case) throughout the semester. Total time is 250 minutes - 30%
Prescribed Texts:

Small Animal Critical Care Medicine 2 nd Ed. By Silverstein and Hopper.

Students will be provided with additional reading material online.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of this subject students should have developed:

  • problem-solving skills
  • analytic skills
  • increased confidence in tackling unfamiliar problems
  • the capacity to manage competing demands on time
Links to further information:
Related Course(s): Graduate Certificate in Small Animal Emergency and Critical Care

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