Isoflurane Supply Shortage

13 December 2018


Following the recent reports of a shortage of Isoflurane, we would like to assure our referring vets and clients that the Anaesthesia Department at DWR is operating ‘business as usual’.
Although we are facing the same supply issues as the rest of the profession, we are in the fortunate position of having further options. With the range of sophisticated equipment at our disposal, and an Anaesthesia & Analgesia Team of 14, including 6 European and RCVS-recognised Specialists, we are able to utilise total intravenous anaesthesia procedures, thus avoding the need for Isoflurane. In addition, we currently have supplies of Sevoflurane, and the appropriate vaporisers to use it.
We appreciate the problems being faced by our colleagues in first opinion practice and we are happy to provide advice on specific cases. In general, we recommend:
• Using Sevoflurane if you have the correct vaporisers;
• Using low-flow techniques whenever appropriate;
• Sourcing human-use products – in line with Cascade;
• Importing products from overseas, if available. This will require a special import certificate.
You may also wish to consider referring lengthy surgical procedures to a centre with the necessary facilities and expertise to offer total intravenous anaesthesia.
Advice from the VMD can be seen at: Veterinary Medicines Directorate