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MU Veterinarian Part of Team Establishing
Trauma Care Network


Veterinarians (from left) Gregory R. Lisciandro, Dennis T. (Tim) Crowe, Jennifer Devey, Claire R. Sharp and Tony Mann have formed the Veterinary Committee on Trauma Education Subcommittee. The met at the CVM recently to develop a certification course for Veterinary Trauma Centers.

Each year, approximately 1 in 10 cases seen at large veterinary referral centers are a result of traumatic injury. Trauma is the second leading cause of death in companion animals, with only infection claiming more lives of pets younger than 1, and cancer being responsible for more deaths in older pets. In an effort to improve emergency care and try to save more lives, the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care (ACVECC) Veterinary Committee on Trauma (VetCOT) is establishing a network of Veterinary Trauma Centers that will be seeded by a network of lead hospitals around the country. These Veterinary Trauma Centers will work together to define high standards of care and share information to improve trauma patient management and recovery.

Dr. Tony Mann, MU professor and director of Small Animal Emergency and Critical Care Service at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, is chairman of the VetCOT Education Subcommittee, which is tasked with developing the Veterinary Advanced Trauma and Life Support (VATLS ) certification course. One of the requirements for a veterinary institution to maintain the verification as a Veterinary Trauma Center will be to have designated staff members complete certification in VATLS. The ACVECC diplomates who are working with Mann to develop the course curriculum met at the MU College of Veterinary Medicine recently to prioritize which skills and techniques are most crucial for veterinarians to know in a trauma emergency.

“We need to narrow down the information to what we can teach in a day-and-a-half,” Mann explained. “What do emergency veterinarians need to know right now to save a life in a situation of, ‘this animal will die if you don’t do this’,” he said. He said much of the training will focus on what are usually the two most immediate threats: life-threatening bleeding and respiratory distress. The course is intended to take the training veterinarians learn while in school to a more advanced level.

“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 care veterinarian, coordinator of the University of Minnesota’s Animal Trauma Center and chair of the VetCOT.

The criteria and expectations for Veterinary Trauma Centers include:

  • 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 on a 24/7 basis.
  • The availability of board-certified specialists for consultation seven days a week in the fields of emergency and critical care, surgery, and radiology.

The team working to develop the VATLS certification course includes:

Dr. F.A. (Tony) Mann. Mann received his DVM from the Ohio State University in 1982, completed a 13-month small animal medicine and surgery rotating internship at the University of Missouri in 1983, and completed a small animal surgical residency and master of science in veterinary medicine and surgery at Texas A&M University in 1986. He served as an assistant professor in small animal surgery at Auburn University from 1986 to 1988. He returned to MU in 1988 as an assistant professor. He passed the board certification examination of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in 1989 and the board certification examination of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care in 1995. He was promoted to full professor in 2006.

Dr. Dennis T. (Tim) Crowe. Crowe graduated with honors from Iowa State University in 1972. He completed an internship at Colorado State University and undertook a special rotation in surgery at Pouder Valley Hospital. He went on to complete a surgical residency at The Ohio State University in 1976 and then practiced in Detroit for two years before joining the faculty at the University of Georgia as a surgeon and chief of Emergency and Critical Care. He became a founder of the ACVECC in 1989. He is currently the chief of Surgery and Critical Care at the Regional Institute for Veterinary Emergencies and Referrals in Chattanooga, Tenn. Along with being a Diplomate Emeritus in the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, he is also Charter Diplomate of the ACVECC, and a Fellow in the American College of Critical Care Medicine.

Dr. Jennifer Devey. Devey received her DVM from the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph in 1988. She completed an emergency and critical care internship in 1992 at the Animal Emergency Center in Milwaukee, Wisc., and completed an emergency and critical care residency there in 1996. She became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care in 1996. Devey subsequently completed a surgical residency in 2004 studying at several private practices. She has been director of emergency and intensive care services at a number of large private referral practices in Canada and the United States – most recently at Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where she was the department head of the emergency and critical care service and director of education. She has been the lab coordinator for the International Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Symposium since 2006 and she has also served on the education and research committee for the European Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society since 2006.

Dr. Gregory R. Lisciandro. Lisciandro received his DVM degree from Cornell University, completed a rotating internship in small animal medicine and surgery at the Animal Medical Center in New York City, and has become a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care and the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (Companion Animal). He has published clinical research that documented the clinical utility of an ultrasound-applied fluid scoring system that reliably predicts the need for blood transfusion(s) in traumatized dogs; and developed TFAST, a thoracic ultrasound scan, to rapidly survey traumatized dogs and cats for life-threatening intrathoracic injury; and most recently developed a third novel abbreviated lung ultrasound exam, called Vet Blue, used for rapid characterization of canine and feline respiratory distress. Currently, he is chief of Emergency and Critical Care at the Emergency Pet Center in San Antonio, Texas.

Dr. Claire R. Sharp. Sharp is an assistant professor and specialist in small animal emergency medicine and critical care at the Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in North Grafton, Mass. She studied veterinary medicine and surgery at Murdoch University, in Australia, graduating in 2002. She completed her rotating small animal internship at Oklahoma State University, followed by an internship and residency in small animal emergency and critical care at the University of Missouri. Dr. Sharp received her masters of veterinary clinical sciences and became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care in 2010.

The two-day session to develop the VATLS course was sponsored by several companies that produce veterinary medical equipment and supplies: Abbott Animal Health, Ethicon, Mila International Inc., Smiths Medical and SurgiVet, and Vet Imaging.

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Last Update: June 4, 2013