Respiratory Failure | Centre for Veterinary Education

Respiratory Failure

Respiratory failure results when the respiratory system is unable to maintain oxygenation and/or eliminate carbon dioxide.

Typical disease processes include tick paralysis, snake envenomation, tetrodotoxicity, aspiration pneumonia, pulmonary contusions, near drowning, acute respiratory distress syndrome and neurological disease.

This course will cover the physiology behind and interpretation of blood gases, diagnosis of respiratory failure, types of ventilators, essential theory of mechanical ventilation, complications of mechanical ventilation and appropriate supportive care of the ventilated patient – critical knowledge required to manage patients with respiratory failure.

This course is highly relevant for clinicians managing severe tick paralysis patients or clinicians who simply want a better understanding of blood gases and mechanical ventilation.

Veterinary nurses with a special interest in the topic are welcome to enrol in this course. Please be aware that the course is designed for qualified veterinarians and you should consider this in light of your knowledge and experience before you register.

Learning objectives

By successfully completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Learn how to interpret a blood gas and how to evaluate arterial oxygenation status
  • Understand indications for and theory of using a critical care ventilator
  • Understand how to manage the ventilated patient including monitoring, supportive care and weaning of the ventilated patient as well as trouble shooting problems such as hypoxemia or hypercapnoea
  • Understand and plan for the supportive care that a ventilated patient requires including interventions like basic physiotherapy, nutritional support, airway support and nursing care. Complications like volutrauma and barotraumas are also discussed including means to avoid these complications.


Monday 4 November - Sunday 1 December 2019
Delivered Online



Duana McBride graduated from the University of Sydney, Australia, in 2004 with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science, where she developed an interest in Emergency and Critical Care Medicine. After several years in general practice and referral emergency practice, she endeavoured to pursue her dreams by undertaking a residency program at Murdoch University, Australia, which was completed in 2013. She obtained her diploma with the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care in 2013, alongside a Masters in Veterinary Medical Science (Murdoch University). Duana worked at the Royal Veterinary College in the United Kingdom for 5 years, and is now in private referral practice. 


Ryan Ong completed his veterinary degree at the University of Sydney in 2001 and went on to do an anaesthesia internship and Masters in Veterinary Studies at the Camden campus the following year. This was followed by a stint in private practice in Melbourne followed by a rotating internship at the Royal Veterinary College in London. A developing interest in emergency and critical care led to a residency program at Murdoch University, before finally becoming a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care. Ryan is one of the principal veterinarians at Western Australian Veterinary Emergency and Specialty.

Course Fees

Member TypeTimeOnline
Recent Grad / Part-time Member$303
Student Member$152
Non-member / eMember$607
*Members include: Practice, Professional and Academic members