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Penn Vet to Show Off Large-Animal Critical Care Center

Posted: Thursday, May 13, 2010, 5:00 p.m. EDT

Penn Vet to Show Off Large-Animal Critical Care CenterThe University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine will host an open house June 5 for the James M. Moran Jr. Critical Care Center, the newest facility on the New Bolton Center Kennett Square campus.

The 18,540-square-foot center will help care for critically ill patients admitted to George D. Widener Hospital, which sees about 6,000 patients annually. By offering a very high level of biosecurity for the most-at-risk population, all the patients in New Bolton Center hospital facilities end up benefiting, according to the university.

“The way that animals are moved, the way veterinary hospital stalls are cleaned, the way staff moves from stall to stall, even the way air circulates all offer opportunities to limit the movement of infectious organisms about hospital wards,” said Helen Aceto, VMD, Ph.D., director of biosecurity at New Bolton Center.

Preventing direct interaction between patients is key to the new facility, according to the university. For example, each stall is self-contained with Plexiglas viewing windows on the interior and individual access on the exterior. Patients, veterinarians, staff and bedding enter and leave the stall through the same door. Stalls are independently ventilated. Each wing also has a dedicated cleaning and laundry room, along with changing rooms and shower facilities for staff members.

One wing, with 12 regular stalls plus two mare and foal stall, is dedicated to the treatment of severe gastrointestinal diseases. The other wing is dedicated to infectious disease and has six regular stalls and four mare and foal stalls. Stalls are equipped with external fluid pumps, oxygen and video cameras so patients can be viewed from the central nursing station. Clinicians also have the ability to check on their patients remotely.

The New Bolton Center requires all staff members, from barn crews to faculty, to receive training in biosecurity protocols.

James M. Moran Jr. Critical Care Center was provided by the state and private donors, including Betty Moran of Paoli, Pa. The center was named in honor of her son, a close friend of Penn Vet. He is said to have had a passion for the breeding and racing of thoroughbred horses.

Paul Steege and Associates was the architect for the project, Bancroft Construction Co. the general contractor and Precis Engineering Inc. the engineer.

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