Critical Care & Emergency Medicine
Emergency medicine and critical care is part of life at Gordon Veterinary Hospital – the combination of being situated on a main road, within the tick paralysis belt and our extended opening hours means that we regularly encounter veterinary emergencies.We have staff, facilities and equipment dedicated to this very important discipline, which intertwines so well with the other strengths of the hospital.
Critical Care Staff
All of our veterinarians are trained and interested in critical care. David Owen receives a lot of our emergency work through our dedicated in-hospital emergency service. Chris Boulton has undertaken extra training in emergency medicine and is responsible for many of the policies and procedures in place to ensure treatments work smoothly.
Critical Care Facilities & Equipment
Our critical care areas are warmed and central to the hospital so that we can constantly monitor the progress of our patients. There is a large range of specialised equipment and materials needed for the quick diagnosis and treatment of critically ill animals. Here is just a small selection.
- Anaesthetic machines
- Ventilation unit
- Breathing monitor
- Nasal oxygen supplementation unit
- Laryngoscope and emergency intubation kits
- Blood pressure monitor
- Oxygen saturation & heart rate stat machine
- Laboratory for blood gas, coagulation and other critical care tests
- Heating unit (cocoon heating system)
- Suction unit
- Endoscope (eg to retrieve objects stuck in throat)
- Blood & plasma transfusion pumps
- Emergency “crash” cart (emergency drugs such as adrenaline)
- Critical care nursing staff
Blood transfusions are necessary in emergencies where a pet has lost large amounts of blood (eg trauma, internal bleeds or rat poisoning). We have a database of pets where the owner has authorised blood donation in emergency situations to save another animal. Click here to read further information about our blood donor database or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in your pet being registered as a blood donor.
Critical Care Scenarios
We see emergencies and critically ill patients for all sorts of reasons. Some of the more common scenarios are listed below:
- Motor vehicle accidents can cause a whole range of serious internal (and external) injuries. Injuries to the nervous system cardiorespiratory and urinary systems can be rapidly life threatening and require prompt stabilisation and ongoing monitoring. Once stable the more obvious injuries such as cuts and breaks can then be addressed.
- Ticks are a problem on the North Shore of Sydney. Animals can present in severe respiratory distress and may require very careful treatment with tick antiserum, oxygen, sedation and appropriate fluids and monitoring. Some animals will go into a respiratory paralysis and require ventilation (assisted breathing).
- After surgery many patients require critical care to return them to normal health. Attention is given to many factors such as fluid balance, pain relief, antibiotic coverage, nutrition and gentle nursing care.