Why is St. Louis Children’s Hospital/Washington University the ONLY top neonatal program to drive plastic tubes down the fragile windpipes of cats and ferrets? Are trainees who learn to intubate a baby’s windpipe on the the bloody, swollen throats of animals more equipped to save children in real life? Not exactly.
Animal drills are needless, given access to infant simulators that better replicate a newborn’s airway. That’s why over 90 percent of U.S. pediatrics residency programs rely on human-focused simulators alone.
Intubation exercises cause animals to bleed, swell and scar. Their lungs can collapse. Improperly routed tubes even kill them. It is simply pointless to reduce any animal’s life to isolation, pain and death. Plus, human safety is at risk when future practitioners learn outdated methods.