Large Animal Research and Imaging Facility

Critical Care Unit (CCU)

The LARIF Critical Care Unit specialises in prolonged anaesthesia and intensive care

The LARIF Critical Care Unit* enables up to six anaesthetised animals to be studied simultaneously using the full array of physiological monitors found in a typical human intensive care unit. Its location, immediately adjacent to the imaging suites, allows easy access to advanced imaging (CT, MRI).

Anaesthesia at LARIF
Anaesthesia at LARIF

Animals in the Critical Care Unit are looked after continuously by veterinary anaesthetists who are, or will become, Specialists in Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia as recognised by the European Board of Veterinary Specialities and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

The three-person team is headed by Professor Eddie Clutton, who has over 30 years’ experience in anaesthetising pigs, sheep, cattle and poultry. The team is committed to refining animal studies and maintaining stable physiological states, reducing the overall number of animals required to achieve scientific objectives.

The Unit specialises in prolonged anaesthesia and intensive care; previous studies have run for up to 96 hours. This maximises the amount of data that can be collected per subject.

Prolonged, stable anaesthesia allows the humane study of:

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  • Drugs – including toxins and their antagonists
  • Organs, i.e. kidney, liver and skin, donation
  • Stem-cell therapies
  • Acute lung and kidney injury
  • New neurosurgical and imaging techniques
  • Biotechnologies (including micro-engineering) of importance in
    • Human resuscitation
    • Lung tumour treatment
    • Gastro-intestinal disease diagnosis
    • Treating human cataracts
    • Physiological, and pathophysiological measurement

The anaesthesia team also look after animals undergoing imaging procedures and/or surgery in other parts of the LARIF. In conjunction with the Named Veterinary Surgeons, and the Animal Care and Welfare Officers, the anaesthetists also contribute to the care and wellbeing of all animals in the facility.

*The LARIF Crtitical Care Unit originated as the Wellcome Trust Critical Care Laboratory for Large Animals (WTCCLLA)


Case Studies