Just in time for the foaling season, Hagyard-Davidson-McGee Associates opened its new intensive care unit. The clinic outgrew its old ICU several years ago, and many times staff had to section off areas of the barn aisle and bed them for neonatal patients.

Fairfield T. Bain, DVM, Diplomate of ACVIM, ACVP, ACVECC, of Hagyard-Davidson-McGee's medicine clinic, explained that the key features are the spacious interior and organization of the ICU with two separate teams. A special door divides two areas if one side is receiving a disruptive animal (such as a stallion). Strategically placed sinks, receptacles, a laundry room, a large room for storage of medical supplies, and an under-building waste-removal system help workers maintain a clean and clutter-free environment.

"The recognition that intensive care can produce functional athletes has allowed us the luxury of being able to adapt advanced medical techniques to the equine neonate," said Bain. "From advanced medical therapy such as the use of bone marrow stimulants (normally used in human cancer patients to raise their white blood cell counts) in septic foals to new technologies including advanced mechanical ventilation techniques, all have helped us send more foals home alive with a promising future," he added.

According to Bain, the unit has been full since it opened. "The comment: 'If you build it they will come' comes to mind," he said

About the Author

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief, received a B.A. in Journalism and Equestrian Studies from Averett College in Danville, Virginia. A Pony Club and 4-H graduate, her background is in eventing, and she is schooling her recently retired Thoroughbred racehorse, Happy, toward a career in that discipline. She also enjoys traveling, photography, cycling, and cooking in her free time.

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