Written by Jeff Mackey
Here's some exciting news from PETA's home region of Hampton Roads, Virginia: Following more than two years of urging from PETA, the Naval Medical Center
Portsmouth (NMCP) has completely replaced its cruel and crude use of ferrets
for teaching lifesaving intubation skills to physicians and others with more modern and effective simulators.
Joining PETA in calling for an end to this cruel ferret laboratory
were several military and civilian medical experts with firsthand knowledge
about the superiority of simulators, including a pediatrician who is a former
commander of NMCP. Previously, ferrets had hard plastic tubes forced down their
delicate windpipes as often as 10 times per session—a procedure that can cause
bleeding, swelling, pain, scarring, collapsed lungs, and even death.
NMCP joins the Naval Medical Center San Diego, Tripler Army Medical
Center, William Beaumont Army Medical Center, and Uniformed Services University
of the Health Sciences—as well as more than 90 percent of pediatric residency
programs nationwide—that have already ended the use of cats and ferrets for
intubation training in favor of superior human simulators.
USFWS Mountain Prairie | cc by 2.0
Please help persuade St. Louis Children's Hospital and Washington University in
St. Louis to replace painful intubation training exercises on cats and ferrets with
humane and superior non-animal methods.
A new PETA ad campaign is rolling out in St. Louis to make
sure that Washington University's faculty, staff, students, and supporters don't
forget about the school's use of live cats for painful and terrifying medical training conducted in conjunction with St. Louis Children's Hospital.
Washington University folks will be confronted by images of
cats like those who have tubes forced down their throats in the university's
Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) course (most other PALS courses have
upgraded to modern, sophisticated simulators) pretty much everywhere they look:
© iStockphoto.com/Dan Brandenburg
Please join us in telling Washington University and St. Louis
Children's Hospital that it's time to get with the program and scratch cruelty to
cats out of their curriculum.
Written by PETA
Although experimenters would have you believe that they only torment animals when alternatives are not available, PETA always exposes this for the blatant lie that it is. The truth is, facilities such as the University of Michigan, the Medical University of South Carolina, and St. Louis Children's Hospital are still subjecting cats and pigs to invasive, painful, and often deadly procedures in some training courses even though the facilities already teach the same exact skills in other courses using sophisticated and superior human-patient simulators! It's up to us to ensure that these cruel animal laboratories are replaced with modern methods that spare animals and better prepare trainees to treat human patients. As World Week for Animals in Laboratories comes to a close, you can help by urging the University of Michigan to cut animals out of its training courses and switch to cutting-edge technology instead.
Animals—from horses to birds as well as those killed for their fur, skin, and flesh—have a friend in Dan Piraro, creator of the wonderfully offbeat internationally syndicated cartoon Bizarro.
Now Dan has stepped up for cats used in excruciating (and scientifically inferior) pediatric intubation training at St. Louis Children's Hospital. Trainees who are enrolled in the Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) course at the facility repeatedly force plastic tubes down cats' windpipes. This painful procedure often causes bleeding and swelling in the tissues of the cats' throats and can also lead to scarring, collapsed lungs, and even death! Manikins and advanced simulators have proved superior to the use of animals for intubation training, and the sponsor of the PALS course, the American Heart Association (AHA), exclusively recommends the use of these humane methods—not animals—for this training. The AHA has also distanced itself from the few facilities such as St. Louis Children's Hospital that continue to use animals in PALS.
Dan, a former student at Washington University in St. Louis (which offers the PALS course in conjunction with St. Louis Children's Hospital), has fired off a letter to the editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, writing, "It doesn't take a medical degree to recognize that practicing intubation on a limp cat is nothing like doing the same procedure on a larger, crying, squirming and/or coughing human child." And to make that point even clearer, he included this cartoon:
Definitely worth a thousand words! But you don't have to be an artist to tell St. Louis Children's Hospital that "first, do no harm" should include our feline friends—all you have to do is click here.
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.