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Human Simulators Replace Animals in Pediatrics Training
May 16, 2011

cats used in intubation training

Thanks toPCRM’s recently launched national effort, pediatrics training is quickly moving away from the use of animals, making training more ethical and more effective. Our latest victory is at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. After PCRM wrote to Nationwide about its cruel use of cats for intubation training in its pediatrics residency program, the hospital replaced the use of cats with simulators.

Nationwide and the other programs that have removed animals from pediatrics training made the right choice for animals—and babies. Residents that participate in these programs are now better prepared to perform this lifesaving procedure having learned on a human-based simulator designed to replicate the anatomy of a newborn child.

Take a look at this video of Premie HAL from Gaumard, a simulator used to teach intubation in pediatrics residency programs:


Simulators are not only more ethical; they are educationally superior to the crude methodology of using live animals, because they are based on actual human anatomy, not the anatomy of a cat or ferret. But a handful of programs, including the University of Washington, continue to use animals to teach intubation. In these programs residents repeatedly force breathing tubes down animals’ throats causing tracheal bruising, bleeding, scarring, severe pain, and risking death. The animals are used over and over, suffering through multiple intubations.

We applaud Nationwide and other programs for making the switch to simulation. And we are letting programs, such as the University of Washington, know that medical simulators can better replicate the airway of a premature newborn, putting an end to the cruel and unnecessary practice of using animals.


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