National guidance for the fire and rescue service promotes the delivery of first aid where definitive veterinary care is not immediately available and it is safe to do so.
“First aid is delivered to pets routinely by emergency responders at the point of need. Guidelines have been created for first responders to equip them with specific skills for the situations they will encounter prior to definitive veterinary care. These have been overseen by veterinary critical care expertise in order to review evidence based best practice.
The term we use for this is Pre-veterinary Immediate Emergency Care.
The guidance given is based on a pragmatic approach to the challenges and limitations of providing care during dynamic circumstances. The guidance is aimed at delivering simple key actions to save and support animal lives based on the science and knowledge available and in line with professional regulation.”
Dr Adam Mugford BVetMed MVetMed DACVECC MRCVS (BARTA Clinical Governance Advisor)
Guidance subject to this initiative will include the following areas;
- Restraint and assessment
- Recognising Respiratory Distress
- Basic Life Support
- Basic Trauma Care (spine board / penetrating wound)
- Fracture Stabilisation
- Heat Exhaustion
- Smoke Inhalation
- Near Drowning
In addition, Dr Kristina Pollock from Edinburgh University is engaged in a project to understand the extent to which first aid is being delivered and to explore how trained responders can improve viability and reduce suffering by their actions at an emergency event.