Victory! Pigs Saved in Tennessee
PCRM helped end the use of live pigs in a surgery lab at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center in Memphis in 2008. The pigs were initially replaced with student rotations in an area hospital before the school purchased two TraumaMan System simulators. Last month, after PCRM filed a federal complaint, the university confirmed that it has also stopped using live pigs and is using those same simulators in its trauma training course—an example Tulane University should follow.
The University of Tennessee was one of the last institutions in the country—and the very last in Tennessee—using animals in Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) courses. Lifelike human patient simulators or cadavers are used by more than 95 percent of U.S. facilities providing ATLS training. These alternatives have been approved by the American College of Surgeons (ACS), the body that oversees these courses.
But Tulane University’s ATLS course still involves cutting open live, anesthetized pigs and practicing procedures such as inserting a tube and needle into the animals’ chest cavities and cutting into their throats. After the training session, the animals are killed.
In an echo of the University of Tennessee situation, Tulane already owns several of the ACS-approved TraumaMan simulators. These could be used to replace the school’s use of animals without incurring significant additional cost to the university.
To ask Tulane’s senior vice president and dean Benjamin Sachs, M.B., to end the use of animals in Tulane’s ATLS program and to learn how you can help end the use of animals in other trauma training programs, visit PCRM.org/Research.