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Biology/Anaesthetics: Blood & Gas Exchange – Care Of The Patient During Surgery With Tom Shand From University of East Anglia

January 22 @ 16:15 - 17:00

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This session will give a broad introduction to the role of an Operating Department Practitioner and give some insight into how we keep patient’s safe during surgery.

During many surgeries patients will be under a general anaesthetic, rendering them unconscious. We will be giving a demonstration looking at how we breathe for patients under anaesthetic through pressure/ volume control, with a brief overview of the anatomy of the airway and gas exchange.

Following this we will be looking at blood and how surgery affects its composition. We will look at “blood gases”, talking about haemoglobin levels and oxygen delivery. We will also look at the PH levels in blood during this scenario, how this may affect the patient and how we balance these to maintain homeostasis.

This session is aimed at students of biology to deepen their understanding of the subject and give real world examples of how their knowledge could benefit and even help save lives. Especially helpful for those looking into careers in healthcare. There will be time during and at the end of the session for questions and online interaction.


Tom is a Clinical Educator for Operating Department Practice at UEA, with a decade of experience as an ODP and a passion for teaching clinical skills. He has spent many years as part of the Emergency team at the Norfolk and Norwich, with some time in ITU before and during covid. He worked as a theatre support worker in Addenbrookes, received his training at Anglia Ruskin in Cambridge before moving back to Norfolk, where he was born.


Our events are designed so that a group of students can take part from a classroom or students and teachers can take part as individuals, either from school or from home. This means that sessions will continue irrespective of possible school closures.

As a live, participative event, this session will not be recorded but slides and other resources will be shared after the event, where available.


Suitable for: Year 12 & 13 students (and equivalent). This will be particularly relevant for Biology students and those potentially looking at further study and careers in healthcare. Groups and individuals are very welcome.

Preparation/Pre-Reading: Students may wish to consider the topic in advance and questions they have. Students can also think about questions about studying at university level.

The IT Setup: The event will be run on Zoom and participants will be able to join using laptops, tablets, and mobile devices. If you are joining as a school group, we recommend connecting with one device and projecting on to a whiteboard. You will be able to interact with the university via a microphone and/or typed comments and questions. Full details will be sent to those who have registered (see below) prior to the event.

Booking a Place: This is free for schools and colleges. If you would like to take part in this event, please register your interest using the link to the registration form below:

Register here