Scoring System

This is where ASA classification can help. An ASA risk is a 1-to-5 score adapted for animals from human medicine’s American Society of Anesthesiologists. The system is based on the patient’s overall health, not the procedure being performed.

The ASA scoring system is NOT an assessment of total perianesthetic or perioperative risk, since many things, including the surgical procedure planned, the skill & training of the anesthetist and the surgeon, as well as the the resources at hand, contribute to the entirety of operative risk. If you EVER have any questions or concerns regarding your pet and any upcoming procedure they may be having talk to your veterinarian/veterinary support staff immediately!

The pre-anesthestic phase includes NOT only the choice of preanesthetic sedatives & analgesics but also a full preanesthetic evaluation & stabilization of the patient, if necessary. Categorization of patients using the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) provides a framework for evaluation of patient health & determination of stabilization requirements prior to anesthesia.

STATUSASA CLASSIFICATIONEXAMPLES
IHealthy Pet, No DiseaseElective Spay/Neuter
IIMild systemic disease or localized diseaseHealthy geriatric pet, mild anemia or obesity
III (Fair)Moderate systemic disease limiting activity but NOT life-threateningMitral valve insufficiency, collapsing trachea, poorly controlled diabetes
IV (Poor)Severe systemic disease, incapacitating; life-threatening; not expected to live without surgeryHemoabdomen from splenic rupture, severe traumatic pneumothorax, organ failure
V (Grave)Moribound; not expected to live >24 hours, with or without surgeryMulti-organ failure, severe shock, terminal malignancy