The current VIN date & time: Eastern

VIN EMRG211-0222: Critically Sick and Injured Patients in Primary Care – What to Do When the ER Isn’t Open

The lectures for this course will be presented in an audio format using a webinar platform.

Presenter: Armi Pigott, DVM, DAVECC
Course Open: February 15-March 18, 2022
Real Time Sessions (RTS): Tuesdays, February 22, March 1, and 8, 2022; 8:00-10:00 pm ET (USA) World Clock Converter
Total CE Credit: 6
RACE Category: 6 hours Medical

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Course Information:
With emergency and specialty referral centers overwhelmed with cases, pausing services, turning away critical patients, and being forced to close due to staffing crises, many primary care veterinarians are being called upon to step far beyond their formal training and comfort zone to provide more advanced emergency care than in previous years. This course will provide a foundation for administering the initial emergency stabilization and ongoing care for a wide variety of critically sick and injured dogs and cats with an emphasis on drugs and equipment that are readily available in most primary care veterinary practices, or which can be quickly, easily, and cheaply obtained to better prepare the practice to manage common emergencies. We will teach focused rapid assessment and identification of imminently life-threatening problems, and the first 3-5 interventions that need to be made to stabilize a wide variety of life-threatening problems. Extensive recommendations for reference material, drugs, and equipment to have on hand (both paid, such as textbooks, and free/open access resources), and additional training resources will be provided.

Learning Objectives:
Upon completion of the course, the participant should be able to
  • understand the rationale underlying knowing the first 3-5 moves for major emergencies and develop your own common emergencies play book.
  • make a list of currently available drugs and equipment for managing common emergencies, know the location of these items within the hospital, and how to access/use them in an emergency.
  • perform a rapid primary and secondary survey and create a ranked life-threatening problems list.
  • list and differentiate the common causes of airway obstruction, and know the first 3 moves to stabilize these patients.
  • create a crash intubation and assisted ventilation plan that can be implemented with drugs and equipment already on-hand (or easily and cheaply obtained).
  • recognize common respiratory patterns, localize the site of disease based on the pattern, and the first 3 moves to stabilize based on localization of disease.
  • identify the major classes of shock and know the first 3 moves for treating each type.
  • understand and apply the IV fluid resuscitation concepts of large volume resuscitation, small volume resuscitation, normotensive resuscitation, and hypotensive resuscitation.
  • practice an emergency tracheostomy on a low-fidelity simulator for less than $2.
  • understand the indications and utility of the diagnostic minimum database, emergency database, and extended laboratory blood work profiles.
  • understand the indications, utility, and limitations of point of care diagnostic imaging (radiographs and ultrasound) in the undifferentiated emergency patient.
  • manage severe respiratory crises associated with laryngeal paralysis, brachycephalic airway syndrome, and other obstructive processes.
  • list, diagnose, and provide initial management of the common injuries associated with blunt trauma, fall from height, and penetrating thoracic/abdominal trauma.
  • provide initial stabilization and management of major bite wounds.
  • manage the first 30 minutes of stabilization for major polytrauma victims.
  • discuss the first 3-5 moves to stabilize common surgical emergency patients including GDV, severe hemoabdomen, cardiovascularly decompensated GI obstruction patients.
  • discuss special considerations and the next 3 moves for patients with septic abdomen and other sources of sepsis.
  • discuss how to initiate volume resuscitation and insulin therapy for patients with DKA.
  • disuss the common electrolyte complications in DKA and how to address them.
  • list the first 3-5 moves to stabilize cardiovascularly unstable patients with urethral obstruction, congestive heart failure, severe azotemia, persistent cluster seizures or status epilepticus, protracted vomiting and/or diarrhea causing cardiovascular instability, severe anemia, and heat stroke.
  • understand how to safely give dogs and cats blood transfusions, and how to safely source blood products in an emergency.
  • understand how to plan a long-distance transfer for critically ill patients.

Level and Prerequisites: This intermediate VIN CE course is open for enrollment to veterinarians actively interested in providing emergency care to critically ill patients in a general practice setting.
Accreditation: This course is approved for 6 hours of continuing education credit by RACE for veterinarians. (RACE 20-869201)

Course Agenda:

Week 1 (Real Time Session February 22, 2022): The Undifferentiated Patient
Rapid triage, ABC assessment, primary/secondary survey, and managing the immediate emergencies associated with the airway, breathing, and circulation; utility of a diagnostic minimum database, emergency database, and extended diagnostic panels will be discussed along with the pros and cons of imaging (radiographs and ultrasound) in critically unstable patients.

Week 2 (Real Time Session March 1, 2022): Major Trauma and Surgical Emergencies
Identify and manage the common injuries associated with blunt trauma, fall from height, penetrating thoracic/abdominal trauma, major bite wounds, stabilize massive polytrauma, GDV, hemoabdomen, and septic abdomen.

Week 3 (Real Time Session March 8, 2022): Major Medical Management Emergencies
Tips, tricks, pearls, and pitfalls when managing metabolic and other medical-management diseases including DKA, congestive heart failure (pulmonary edema vs pleural effusion), cluster seizures and status epilepticus, severe AHDS (HGE), heat stroke, cardiovascularly unstable urethral obstruction, severe anemia, and basics of blood transfusions.

Successful completion (scoring 80% or better) on the end-of-course test is required to earn a certificate of completion for the course. To learn more about the requirements for earning a CE certificate, please refer to Receiving Your CE Credit and Course Completion Certificate.

Course Materials: Course materials will be available in the course library prior to each Real Time Session.
Required Textbook(s): There is no required textbook for this course.


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Tuition: Member $138 ($124 early bird special if enrolled by February 1, 2022)
Non-Member $231 ($208 early bird special if enrolled by February 1, 2022)
Prices are listed in US dollars.

*To ensure participants are ready and prepared for classes, enrollment will close on February 22, 2022 at 5 pm ET (USA) or when the maximum number of participants is reached.

*For more information on how online CE works, see the Participant Resource Center.

  1. Enrollment qualifications: VIN CE courses are open to VIN member and non-member veterinarians. Veterinarians enrolling in a VSPN CE course must be a VIN member. Veterinary support staff must be a VSPN member to enroll in a VSPN CE or a VIN CE course open to VSPN member enrollment.
  2. Each enrollee must be able to receive emails from @vspn.org and @vin.com addresses. Email is our major form of communication with participants; personal emails are highly recommended rather than clinic/hospital email addresses.
  3. For further assistance call 800-846-0028 ext. 797 or email . Please include the course title, your full name, and contact information in your correspondence.

Course withdrawal and refund policy: A complete refund of the paid course price will be issued when your withdrawal request is received prior to the listed start date of the course. If you wish to withdraw after the start date please contact the VIN office 800-846-0028 ext. 797 to discuss eligibility for a pro-rated refund.

*For more information on VIN's upcoming CE courses, check the VIN Course Catalog.

Katherine James, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (SAIM)
VIN Education Director

VIN CE Services:
800-846-0028 or 530-756-4881; ext. 797
or direct line to VIN/VSPN from the United Kingdom: 01 45 222 6154
or direct line to VIN/VSPN from Australia: 02 6145 2357