For Immediate Release:
August 4, 2022
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
Chattanooga, Tenn. – Following a PETA campaign and e-mails from more than 75,000 supporters demanding an end to the use of animals in emergency medical training, Erlanger Health System has issued a new statement from its emergency medevac company, LIFE FORCE: “Erlanger’s policies and procedures do not include the use of live animals for any purpose including training.”
The new policy comes after PETA confronted the hospital about its participation in a skills laboratory at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine that included invasive training sessions on live animals. These sessions reportedly involved collapsing pigs’ lungs, cutting into an artery to induce bleeding, and cracking open the animals’ ribs if resuscitating them failed. Pigs who survived the painful procedures were then killed.
“LIFE FORCE medical responders at Erlanger Health System deserve top-notch training with human-relevant simulation models, so the company did the right thing in cutting ties with gruesome pig-mutilation drills,” says PETA Vice President Shalin Gala. “PETA is calling on the University of Tennessee to follow Erlanger’s lead and replace crude emergency medical training on animals with more effective human patient simulators.”
Studies have shown that medical skills learned on pigs don’t effectively translate to the treatment of human patients because of significant anatomical and physiological differences between species and that medical professionals who learned lifesaving surgical skills on human simulators are more proficient than those who used animals in their training. Erlanger’s statement to PETA also mentioned that the hospital is now using “high-fidelity human simulation models for critical training.”