The small animal emergency service at the U. of I. Veterinary Teaching Hospital is one of nine U.S. veterinary hospitals and clinics to be provisionally designated as a Veterinary Trauma Center by the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care.
The new designation is part of an initiative to improve treatment outcomes of animal trauma cases by creating a network of lead hospitals that will foster development of trauma systems nationally. These hospitals will work collaboratively to define high standards of care and disseminate information that improves trauma patient management efficiencies and outcomes.
"To achieve this designation, a hospital must have board-certified specialists in emergency and critical care, surgery and radiology available for consultation on a 24/7 basis," said Maureen McMichael, who directs the small animal emergency and critical care service at the U. of I.
"At Illinois we have the expertise and facilities needed to manage every aspect of care for the small animal trauma patient, from emergency stabilization through medical and surgical care and rehabilitation. Our team approach to care means our emergency/critical care experts work closely with our surgeons, anesthesiologists, internists, radiologists and other specialists to tailor care to individual patient needs."
Among the goals of the veterinary trauma center network is to create a database of information related to animals sustaining trauma that can be used for research and to develop standards of care and training.
Other veterinary emergency care providers designated as the inaugural veterinary trauma centers are private hospitals in Irvine, Calif.; Los Angeles; Tampa, Fla.; and Paramus, N.J.; and veterinary colleges at North Carolina State University, Tufts University, the University of Minnesota and the University of Pennsylvania.
Guidelines and requirements for the new centers were generated by a multinational group of veterinary critical care specialists. A subcommittee of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care will work with the centers throughout the first year to ensure all guidelines are being met.