Blood and Guts on Capitol Hill
October 25, 2013 Dr. Neal Barnard
This week on Capitol Hill, the Physicians Committee, a former military doctor, and Georgia Rep. Hank Johnson led a demonstration showcasing the latest groundbreaking military trauma training. Human-based simulators—featuring lifelike skin, anatomically correct organs, breakable bones, and realistic blood flow—are designed to create an accurate and realistic experience, something that an anesthetized pig and or goat simply cannot.
The Cut Suit, worn by an actor, recreates the emotional stressors of a combat experience providing real-time feedback. Seeing a soldier on the ground, writhing in pain and calling out for help, illustrates the difference between working on a “conscious casualty” and an anesthetized animal. Video of the Cut Suit in Action WARNING: THIS VIDEO MAY BE GRAPHIC AND DISTURBING
The scenarios were so realistic that at least two people stood and left the room during the demonstration. Afterward, congressional staffers got up close and personal with the simulators, even participating in several “surgical procedures.” Better training for our soldiers means more lives saved on the field. As these extremely advanced training methods continue to gain congressional support, they will replace animal methods—to everyone’s benefit.
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