Two More Trauma Training Courses Go Animal Free
The University of Oklahoma Medical Center and the University of South Alabama both recently announced that they have stopped using animals for trauma training. These facilities join the vast majority of United States trauma training programs, which use only nonanimal methods.
Last year, PCRM filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture citing the University of Oklahoma Medical Center for violating the Animal Welfare Act by using goats in its Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) program. After the complaint was filed, the medical center obtained the American College of Surgeons-approved TraumaMan System simulator and is now using it—instead of animals.
The University of South Alabama stopped using pigs in trauma training after PCRM cardiologist John Pippin, M.D., F.A.C.C., wrote a letter to the school’s ATLS program director explaining that nonanimal training methods are educationally preferable and can easily replace animal use in the course. PCRM helped the school investigate nonanimal options, and the program now uses TraumaMan.
One of the few holdouts still using animals is Massachusetts General Hospital. The hospital already owns TraumaMan and uses this advanced human-patient simulator to teach ATLS surgical skills to medical students. But for practicing physicians, the hospital uses live sheep to teach the procedures.
PCRM has filed a formal request with Massachusetts General’s Subcommittee on Research Animal Care asking that it deny the use of animals in the hospital’s ATLS program.
You can help. Contact Massachusetts General’s ATLS director, Susan Briggs, M.D., and politely ask her to end animal use in the institution’s ATLS program.