New Bolton Critical Care Center Emphasizes Biosecurity

The James M. Moran Jr. Critical Care Center, the newest facility at the New Bolton Center, has been built to emphasize biosecurity in large animal veterinary care. The center, located on the Kennett Square, Pa., campus of the University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine, will be celebrated at an open house for the public on June 5 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and private donors, who included Mrs. J. Maxwell Moran (Betty Moran) of Paoli, Pa., provided for the facility. It is named in honor of Moran’s son, who was a close friend to Penn Vet, in recognition of his passion for the breeding and racing of Thoroughbred horses.

The Moran Center was built to provide the campus with a building that has the design and the capacity to care for the numbers of critically ill patients admitted to the George D. Widener Hospital, which sees approximately 6,000 patients annually. It offers an unprecedented level of biosecurity for the most at-risk population, thereby protecting not only those animals, but also the patients in New Bolton Center hospital facilities.

"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 infections organisms about hospital wards," said Helen Aceto VMD, PhD, director of biosecurity at New Bolton Center since 2004.

Key to the new facility is the prevention of direct interaction between patients. Each of the stalls is completely self-contained with Plexiglas® viewing windows on the interior and individual access on the exterior. Patients, veterinarians, staff, and even bedding enter and leave the stall by the same door, greatly reducing the danger of contamination from one horse to another. Each wing has a dedicated cleaning and laundry room, and the clean-to-dirty movement pattern is not reversed until items have been re-cleaned. Air pressurization in the central corridors ensures that all air transfers go from the clean hallways, through the stall, to the exterior of the stall. Each stall is independently ventilated as well.

One wing of the facility is dedicated to the treatment of severe gastrointestinal diseases, with 12 regular stalls plus two mare and foal stalls. The infections disease wing has six regular stalls and four mare and foal stalls. Stalls are equipped with external fluid pumps, oxygen, and video cameras to enable patient viewing from the central nursing station. Specialized software will also allow clinicians to check on their patients remotely.

The 18,540-square-foot facility is the largest clinical addition to the George D. Widener Hospital for Large Animals since the completion of the C. Mahlon Kline Orthopedic Center in 1972.

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