Pigs, like dogs and cats, are commonly used in surgical training and other experiments. Babies like those above are bred to harvest their organs for human transplants. PHOTO: Richard Austin; SOURCE: Dailymail.co.uk
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I understand one Vanderbilt ATLS program required trainees to slice the airways of live pigs to place tubes and needles in the animals' hearts and chest cavities. Emergency medical training is better served by relevant and humane non-animal modes.
TraumaMan's anatomical body facilitates practice of lifesaving skills and reduces trainee dropout rates. The American College of Surgeons endorses TraumaMan System, SimMan, human cadavers and other synthetic models.
Overall, animal-free research cuts costs and improves proficiency. For example, a New England Journal of Medicine article highlights the "very detailed feedback and...more subtle measurement of trainee performance" gained from virtual reality simulators.
Dr. Emad Aboud -- co-inventor of a system that pumps specially dyed water into a human cadaver's vessels and arteries -- says animal-free models are cheaper and more accurate. "This is the perfect alternative to the use of live animals in surgical training," claims Aboud, a neurosurgeon fellow at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
If you haven't done so already, I encourage Vanderbilt to update its trauma-management training with methods more relevant to human anatomy and surgery. Killing animals is no longer viable, given the accessibility of capable non-animal technologies.