Tufts Small Animal Hospital Approved as a Veterinary Trauma Center

One of nine hospitals nationwide to meet criteria
April 23, 2013

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Rushmie Nofsinger

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North Grafton, Mass. – The American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care (ACVECC) has approved the Tufts Foster Hospital for Small Animals (FHSA) at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine to be provisionally designated as a Veterinary Trauma Center in a new initiative designed to improve treatment outcomes of animal trauma cases.

The Veterinary Trauma Center designation is part of an effort by the ACVECC Veterinary Committee on Trauma (VetCOT) to create a network of lead hospitals that will seed the development of trauma systems nationally. FHSA is one of nine hospitals approved for the new designation. These hospitals will work collaboratively to define high standards of care and disseminate information that improves trauma patient management efficiencies and outcomes. In addition to FHSA, the following veterinary emergency care providers have been designated as the first wave of Veterinary Trauma Centers:

-Southern California Veterinary Specialty Hospital (Irvine, California) 

-VCA West Los Angeles (Los Angeles, California)

-BluePearl Veterinary Partners – Tampa (Tampa, Florida)

-University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Urbana, Illinois

-University of Minnesota – Veterinary Medical Center (St. Paul, Minnesota)

-North Carolina State University – College of Veterinary Medicine (Raleigh, North Carolina)

-Oradell Animal Hospital (Paramus, New Jersey)

-University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

 The Veterinary Trauma Center designation reflects a comprehensive depth of resources available to small animal patients suffering traumatic injuries. Patient care can be tailored to individual needs through a team-based approach that allows emergency/critical care veterinarians to work closely with surgeons, anesthesiologists, internists, radiologists, cardiologists, neurologists, and other specialists.

 The criteria and expectations for Veterinary Trauma Centers include:

  • On a 24/7 basis, the ability to provide total care for every aspect of management of the small animal trauma patient, from emergency stabilization through definitive medical and surgical care, and rehabilitation.
  • The availability of board-certified specialists for consultation seven days a week in the fields of emergency and critical care, surgery, and radiology. 

“This new designation creates a standard of care in veterinary medicine that didn’t previously exist and provides pet owners with important information in the event of a trauma-related emergency,” said Dr. Armelle de Laforcade, an emergency and critical care veterinarian at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University and executive secretary of ACVECC. “Receiving care at a certified trauma center with the necessary resources in place may help improve survival rates for the most severely traumatized patient.”

Similar to human trauma centers, veterinary trauma centers also provide leadership in education and research. One of 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 multi-center veterinary trauma research.

“By working collaboratively with leaders in the veterinary trauma field throughout the country, advancements in trauma care will be shared between centers rapidly, assuring the most severely injured patients have access to the most advanced therapies,” said Dr. Kelly Hall, a board-certified emergency and critical veterinarian,  coordinator of the University of Minnesota’s Animal Trauma Center and chair of the VetCOT.

A VetCOT subcommittee will be working with the centers throughout the first year to ensure all the guidelines and requirements, which were generated by a multi-national group of veterinary critical care specialists, are being met.

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 About the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University

Founded in 1978 in North Grafton, Mass., Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University is internationally esteemed for academic programs that impact society and the practice of veterinary medicine; three hospitals and two clinics that combined log more than 80,000 animal cases each year; and groundbreaking research that benefits animal, public, and environmental health.