The University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine’s (Penn Vet) New Bolton Center is home to the only raft-pool recovery system for large animals in the world. This unique method of recovering high-risk horses from anesthesia has, unlike many innovations in surgery, withstood the test of time.

Dean Richardson, DVM, Dipl. ACVS, the Charles W. Raker Professor of Equine Surgery, will discuss this pioneering system as part of the First Tuesday Lecture series. His presentation, “The Recovery Pool: Defying Gravity after Orthopedic Surgery,” will take place on Tuesday, June 6, at 6:30 p.m. in New Bolton Center’s Alumni Hall at 382 West Street Road in Kennett Square.

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For more than forty years, horses with serious injuries have woken up in New Bolton Center’s pool. It remains a safe and effective technique for anesthetic recovery of the seriously injured horse, providing a chance to safely recover strength, coordination, and awareness. Richardson will share how and why the system works, along with case reports exemplifying the value of this method to recover horses from general anesthesia.

New Bolton Center’s pool recovery system was dedicated in 1975. It features a pool measuring 22 feet wide and 11 feet deep; a custom-made life raft designed to accommodate a resting horse head and four legs; and a rail system making it possible to lift the horse from the surgical table, into the raft and the pool, out of the pool, and straight to a recovery stall.

The First Tuesday Lecture Series offers free presentations for the public on equine topics on the first Tuesday of selected months. Due to limited seating, reservations are recommended and can be made by contacting Barbara Belt at