The goal of the critical care service (or Intensive Care Unit – ICU) of the Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center is to provide the highest level of intensive 24-hour care to our critically ill patients as well as provide consistent and effective communication with our clients and referring veterinarians.
*VSEC Levittown is a Level 1 Certified Facility by the Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care Society. This is the highest level of certification awarded by the Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care Society.
Our ICU is led by six board-certified critical care specialists who are Diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care or ACVECC. Only Diplomates of the ACVECC have completed a 3-year residency in emergency and critical care and passed a series of national qualifying examinations to become board certified specialists in the field of veterinary emergency and critical care medicine. No other veterinarians have received as much rigorous and complete training and testing in the field of veterinary emergency and critical care.
VSEC’s emergency and critical care specialists are trained and skilled in providing advanced therapies including:
- Fluid and colloid therapy
- Blood and plasma transfusion therapy
- Trauma assessment and stabilization
- Cardiopulmonary cerebral resuscitation (CPR)
- Oxygen supplementation and respiratory support
- Advanced pain management
- Mechanical ventilation
- Nutritional support
- Wound care
Patients may be admitted to the ICU directly from our referring veterinarians, transferred from the VSEC emergency service following emergency room evaluation, or transferred by other VSEC specialty services for consultation, intensive care ,and critical monitoring.
Patients admitted to the ICU may include those with complex and multi-systemic diseases such as:
- Acute renal failure
- Sepsis (a potentially life-threatening complication of a severe infection)
- Disseminated intravascular coagulopathy (a massive, whole body clotting abnormality)
- Trauma patients
- Diabetic emergencies
- Respiratory failure
- Congestive heart failure and severe cardiac rhythm disturbances
- Neurological emergencies (e.g. seizure patients)
- Recovery from major surgery for monitoring and advanced pain management
ICU Services Offered:
- 24-hour staffing by doctors and nurses for your pet’s intensive care
- Placement and management of feeding tubes for nutritional support: PEG (stomach), esophageal, nasogastric and nasojejunal
- Continuous electrocardiography (ECG) monitoring for patients with cardiac problems
- Direct and indirect arterial and central venous pressure monitoring for critical patients
- Arterial and venous blood gas analysis
- Pulse oximetry, end-tidal capnography, and measurement of lung mechanics (non invasive respiratory monitoring)
- Mechanical ventilation
- Advanced pain control including continuous rate infusions for your pet’s comfort during times of illness and stress
- Blood typing, cross-matching, blood and plasma transfusions for anemia and bleeding disorders
- Urinary output monitoring via closed urinary collection systems
- Oxygen therapy and respiratory support for patients with respiratory distress
- Full-service, in-house stat laboratory including blood gas analysis for critical care diagnostics and monitoring
- Bereavement and loss support
If your pet is in our ICU, you can expect to be in close contact with our veterinarians and nurses. Daily visitation is encouraged for most of our patients. We also keep in touch with your primary veterinarian with daily faxed updates and phone calls.