Small Animal/Exotics20TH ANNIVERSARY
ous and included electrocardiogra-phy, temperature, arterial and ve-nous pressures, pH, carbon dioxidepartial pressure, and respiratory rateand volume; all of these measure-ments were recorded on a strip chart. Another significant event in theevolution of critical care was the allo-cation of specific resources towarddefined emergency/critical care ser-vices in teaching hospitals and itsemergence as a clinical rotation forstudents and veterinarians.
ColoradoState University, the University of Pennsylvania, the Animal MedicalCenter (New York City), and AngellMemorial AnimalHospital(Boston) were the first facilities to have dedi-cated intensive care units in the early 1970s.
Although veterinary critical care was initially promoted by a smallgroup of individuals (Fred Sattler, William Whittick, Ira Zaslow,Robert Knowles), its acceptance intomainstream veterinary medicine didnot really begin until individuals in-terested in the field began organiz-ing. One of the first recognizedgroups to develop was the Veterinary Critical Care Society (VCCS), whichestablished its bylaws in 1978. The American Society of Veterinary Anes-thesiologists,established in 1970,merged with the VCCS in 1983.The most pivotal year in the con-tinued development of veterinary critical care medicine was 1984, theyear the Veterinary Emergency andCritical Care Society (VECCS) wasformed through the merger of theVCCS and American Association of Veterinary Emergency Clinicians. TheVECCS contained approximately 200 members at that point; 2 yearslater, there were 500 members. In1988, the first International Veteri-nary Emergency and Critical CareSymposium was held by the VECCSin San Antonio, Texas. This sympo-sium has become a biannual event, with nearly 2000 people participat-ing in1998.In 1990, the American College of Veterinary Emergency and CriticalCare (ACVECC) was given proba-tional status by the American BoardofVeterinary Specialties; there were19 charter diplomates. Full status asa specialty college was granted by the American Veterinary Medical Associ-ation in 1996. More than 60 veteri-narians are currently board-certifiedin veterinary emergency and criticalcare. The VECCS has sponsored thedevelopment of the Student Veteri-nary Emergency and Critical CareSociety (SVECCS) as well as the Academy of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Technicians(AVECCT), which held its firstqualifying examinations in late 1998.In addition, the VECCS and ACVECC work together to publishthe
Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care
, which is dedicatedto furthering the science of veteri-nary emergency and critical care.It is the organization of those in-terested in the specialty that hasbrought critical care to the forefrontof veterinary medicine and that, inmy opinion, has been the single mostimportant development in the field.The development of VECCS and itsextensive membership (now morethan 1700) has provided a frame- work for involvement in the specialty on all levels
from students to tech-nicians to veterinarians. Unlike hu-
demands for quality emergency care for their animals haveskyrocketed since 1979. In the past20 years, the number of veterinary emergency clinics has grown fromperhaps a dozen in a few majorcities to more than 400 nationwide.
A Star is Born.
s growinginterest in veterinary emergency medicine is evident just by turningon the television. Critical carepractitioners are becoming TV
snewest celebrities as their professionis highlighted in such popular cableseries as
on the Animal Planet network and indocumentaries, such as
which aired on the TBSSuperstation in November 1998 and was the highest rated documentary of that week on basic cable.
Insuring a Healthy Future.
Theimportance of emergency careto pet owners is also exemplifiedin the success of such companies asVeterinary Pet Insurance. Realizingthe importance of being able toprovide emergency (and routine)health care for their pets
butunable to foot the often pricey billsinvolved
owners are turning toVeterinary Pet Insurance for help.Founded in 1982, the company currently markets pet healthinsurance plans in 46 states plus theDistrict of Columbia, and morethan 750,000 policies have beensold to date.
Information obtained from the onlinetranscript of the March 29, 1999 editionof the ABC news show
The American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care (ACVECC) is given probational status by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).
The ACVECC is granted full status as a specialty college by the AVMA.
The Student Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society is formed (SVECCS).
The Academy of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Technicians (AVECCT) is officially recognized as a technician specialty by the North American Veterinary Technician Association.
Journal of theVeterinary Emergency and Critical CareSociety
is published (initially published in the 1970s as the
Journal of Critical Care
on a sporadic basis).