29 December 2022

Our new emergency and critical care specialist here at Willows in Solihull has spoken of the need for fast action but cool heads in dealing with emergency cases.

Fernanda Camacho is a member of our specialist-led Emergency and Critical Care (ECC) service and just qualified as a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care. 

She has now given a graphic insight into life inside the ECC service, explaining: “Emergency situations are usually very hands-on types of cases initially and then develop into complex, critical care cases which require ongoing help in ECC.

“You need to be able to cope with the fast pace of the emergency room, the need for quick decision-making and have the ability to multi-task calmly and efficiently.

“It means ECC is a very demanding environment, but it is also a very rewarding speciality, too.

“I still remember my very first case of severe septic shock (a life-threatening condition) and my first case on mechanical ventilation (life support).

“I was a young intern but they are still the most memorable cases as both made me realise how much I love this discipline. 

“We spend a lot of time with our patients because they are very sick, and each case occupies a special place in our hearts because they are in our care for so long.

“Seeing them improve and recover is very satisfying but even when things don’t go well, we know we absolutely did our maximum to help those pets.”

Fernanda will be able to help even more now, after recently earning prestigious specialist status.

She added: “Becoming a specialist has been a long journey that started six years ago, and it is by far the biggest achievement in my professional career. 

“I celebrated by having dinner with friends, followed by a lot of tears on the telephone with my family and friends in different parts of the world. 

“Now, I have a new focus and that is on building the ECC service at Willows alongside our head of service, Poppy Gant. It’s a great project and an exciting challenge.”

Willows’ clinical director Jon Wray has been quick to acknowledge and applaud Fernanda’s elevation to specialist.

He said: “I’m delighted Fernanda has passed her examinations and is now a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care. “Huge congratulations to Fernanda for a thoroughly well-deserved achievement. It’s brilliant news and everyone at Willows is thrilled.”