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Product Code: ILSC2007_1001

Safe Use of Lasers in Veterinary Medicine
Authors:
Kenneth Bartels, Oklahoma State University; Stillwater OK USA
Thomas Fry, Cascade Veterinary Specialists; Issaquah WA USA
Presented at ILSC 2007

Technology in veterinary medicine, including the use of lasers, is expanding, as is the ability of animal owners to support these innovations. Since the use of lasers in the profession of veterinary medicine has grown sharply in the past 10 years, safety concerns for the patient, the veterinarian, and the technical staff are paramount. The American National Standard for Safe Use of Lasers in Health Care Facilities (ANSI Z 136.3-2005) is a document used by both state and federal compliance committees to provide guidelines for the safe use of lasers in the clinical setting. Appendix I of this guideline addresses use of lasers in veterinary medicine, although veterinary medicine is not included in the scope of the document itself. Although laser surgery suites used in the clinical veterinary setting may not be identical to those found in human medicine, the similarities are many, and an equivalent emphasis on laser safety is essential. A review of the current veterinary medical laser technologies will be presented. In addition, laser safety practices and hazard control as implemented, or should be implemented regarding the use of lasers veterinary medicine, will be discussed.

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