Victories! More Pediatrics Programs End Animal Use
Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia informed PCRM this summer that it stopped using kittens to teach endotracheal intubation to pediatrics residents. The victory came after PCRM announced that local physicians would demonstrate against the practice outside the hospital. It’s just one of many recent victories in replacing the use of animals in pediatrician training.
The past few months have seen many universities and hospitals agreeing with PCRM’s call to end the use of animals in their curricula. East Carolina University, Vanderbilt University, the University of Oklahoma, and the University of Texas at Houston have all joined Albert Einstein Medical Center in stopping the use of animals in pediatrics training.
Pediatricians need expertise in endotracheal intubation—placing a tube into a newborn’s windpipe. But when this method is practiced over and over in an animal laboratory, the animals can suffer tracheal bruising, bleeding, scarring, airway swelling, and severe pain, and they are at risk of death.
This training is now commonly done with human-like simulators, which match human anatomy and, unlike animals, can be used repeatedly until the trainee has achieved mastery. Medical simulators such as PREMIE Hal are based on human anatomy and designed to replicate a premature, low birth weight child.
But a handful of programs still use animals, including the University of Virginia, which uses cats. UVA already has a state-of-the-art medical simulation center that can easily provide nonanimal training methods.
Ask the University of Virginia to stop killing cats at PCRM.org/Pediatrics.