Animal Trauma Center
For immediate release
Contact: Brian Graves, College of Veterinary Medicine, 612-624-6228
U of M Veterinary Medical Center launches nation's first animal trauma center
New center to serve as model for other universities and veterinary medical centers
Minneapolis/St. Paul (March 3, 2011) — The University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center (VMC) has launched its Animal Trauma Center, the first of its kind in the nation. Based on the human model for clinical trauma care, the center was created to leverage the expertise and capabilities of the VMC's board-certified specialists and to provide the comprehensive, team-based care important in treating dog and cat trauma and other serious emergency cases.
According to board-certified veterinary criticalist Dr. Kelly Hall, the hope is that the new University of Minnesota trauma center model will be adopted by other large veterinary medical centers and teaching hospitals across the country, creating a network that will work collaboratively to continually develop methods to improve trauma patient care.
"By working collaboratively with leaders in the veterinary trauma field throughout the country, advancements in trauma care will be shared between centers rapidly, assuring that the most severely injured patients have access to the most advanced therapies," Hall explained.
Like human trauma centers, the Animal Trauma Center will also provide leadership in education and research. The Animal Trauma Center designation reflects a depth of resources as opposed to just an ability to deliver medical care.
A veterinary trauma center ensures patient access to the expertise and resources needed in critical cases. Because care components are often tailored to each individual patient case, the VMC's emergency/critical care veterinarians work closely with VMC surgeons, anesthesiologists, internists, radiologists, cardiologists, neurologists, and other experts representing 15 different board-certified specialties to provide the region's most comprehensive, cutting-edge care.
"Most animal hospitals are equipped to handle common animal emergencies during regular office hours, and a number of emergency clinics in the Twin Cities extend those services beyond normal hours," said Dr. David Lee, director of the Veterinary Medical Center. "The University of Minnesota's Animal Trauma Center is unique in that we're able to quickly mobilize the critical resources needed to meet the needs of trauma patients. Just as in human medicine, not every practice or emergency clinic needs the ability to handle trauma cases — but a large metro area can benefit from having a designated center to serve the region."
Like a human hospital, the VMC also operates a 24-hour intensive care unit, as well as an on-site blood bank, full-service pharmacy, in-house clinical pathology laboratory, physical rehabilitation center, and one of the most advanced veterinary imaging centers in the country, complete with MRI and CT. VMC doctors are supported by a well-trained team of certified veterinary technicians, many of whom have advanced certifications in their service area.
Examples of trauma cases capable of being treated by the Animal Trauma Center include injuries resulting from moving vehicle accidents, major falls, bite wounds, and smoke or chemical inhalation. In addition, most of the regionâ€™s police department K9 units rely on the VMC to provide care for canine officers injured in the line of duty.
"It's not unusual for a complex case at the VMC to involve a team of a dozen or more individuals, including world-renowned clinical researchers, veterinary specialists, house officers, technicians, and students, in a compassionate, patient-centered environment," said Lee. "Similar to human patients traveling long distances for the best medical care available, the VMC in St. Paul is known for providing the region's most comprehensive and cutting-edge veterinary care. The Animal Trauma Center will only enhance that reputation."
The University of Minnesota first established a veterinary hospital on the St. Paul campus over a century ago. The Veterinary Medical Center has since grown to be one of the largest, busiest, and most advanced veterinary teaching hospitals in the country. Within the University's state-of-the-art facilities, patients receive the benefit of more than 60 experts in 15 recognized specialties.
The College of Veterinary Medicine improves the health and well-being of animals and people by providing high-quality veterinary training, conducting leading-edge research, and delivering innovative veterinary services.