Last month, the OVC Health Sciences Centre opened a new intermediate care / fluid ward and an updated and expanded intensive care unit. The new facilities are the result of a $750,000 renovation to the small animal clinic. The project was supported by a generous gift from an anonymous donor.
“We’ve made significant improvements to make more efficient use of available space and meet a variety of patient needs,” said Dr. Alexa Bersenas, head of the emergency and critical care service.
In addition to a larger admissions area, more animal housing, improved flow and visibility for patient care, the new intensive care unit has an isolation area for patients admitted with infectious diseases and antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections. A new emergency entrance allows cases to enter the hospital without going through the main entrance and lobby.
The adjacent intermediate care unit provides an area where 24-hour supervision can be maintained at an appropriate level for patients that are not critically ill. Previously, the ICU was the only area in the hospital where patients could receive intravenous fluids. But the majority of those cases were receiving diagnostic or other procedures that didn’t require being kept in the ICU.
From a teaching perspective, students will gain more experience handling cases in a way that is more in line with what they’ll see in practice, but in an environment that provides 24/7 patient care, Bersenas said.
“The new space will help us provide optimal and appropriate care for all our patients,” she said. “We’ve also been able to make use of previously existing skylights to provide natural light in the ICU, something that has been shown to speed recovery in human patients.”