As part of our 2011 resolve to End Animal Experiments, Everywhere We Can, we ask Tulane University to get with the program.
The other 95 percent of medical schools with Advanced Trauma Life Support programs exclusively use human-patient simulators in place of dogs, goats or pigs. Tulane is stuck in the 5 percent of U.S. institutions that still direct students to cut apart (and later kill) pigs and other animals.
Prior to 2001 — when the American College of Surgeons (ACS) officially endorsed Simulab's TraumaMan — nearly all lab exercises involved live animals. Students used animals for: cricothyroidotomy (neck incision to alleviate blocked airway); pericardiocentesis (fluid removal from sac that encases heart); and chest tube insertion (drainage of blood, fluid or air to facilitate lung expansion). PCRM Background On ATLS
Given the transformation of classroom training from crude animal surgeries, bleed-outs and killing...to sophisticated simulators, human cadaver systems, real-life hospital rotations...there is zero justification for live labs in 2011. Politely ask Tulane to use animal-free teaching tools alone.
Some 95 percent of Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) programs exclusively use human-patient simulators in place of dogs, goats or pigs. I respectfully ask Tulane to join them. As you know, the American College of Surgeons endorses TraumaMan as a method to learn lifesaving skills.
Animal models, on the other hand, deflect focus and funding from training relevant to human trauma and disease. Please replace live animal labs with more applicable human-based technologies.
ATLS programs benefit from anatomically advanced simulators, along with human cadavers and real-life hospital rotations. Simulators cut costs and improve proficiency. They allow for more in-depth feedback and assessment of student performance, while reducing dropout rates.
Trauma management training does not need to reduce any animal's life to confinement, invasive surgery and death. Given the accessibility of capable, usually superior, animal-free tools — there is no valid reason for live animal labs in any curriculum.