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The Physicians Committee



Pigs and Rabbits Saved from Trauma Training in Canada

Thanks to you, PCRM successfully ended the use of live pigs and rabbits in trauma training courses at two Canadian institutions. Now, pigs in Massachusetts need your help.

pig used in medical educationAdvanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) courses at Hamilton Health Sciences at McMaster University previously involved cutting open up to 90 live, anesthetized pigs each year to practice emergency medical procedures. Alleging that this practice violated Canadian animal welfare standards, PCRM filed a complaint with the Canadian Council on Animal Care. In a pediatric trauma training course at the same institution, trainees also used live rabbits.

According to confirmation PCRM recently received from the school, McMaster’s vice president of medical affairs and quality says, “The decision to move away from animal use for ATLS training has been made. The ATLS training program will be using alternate methods for teaching surgical techniques.” A public records response PCRM received confirms this change has gone into effect.

Saint John Hospital in New Brunswick, another Canadian institution, also recently stopped using pigs for trauma training.

Both hospital centers now teach these crucial lifesaving procedures with the TraumaMan System simulator instead of animals. They join the 95 percent of these institutions that now use human-based trauma training methods instead of animals.

A handful of institutions, such as Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Mass., continue to use and kill animals in ATLS courses. But you can urge Baystate to replace the use of pigs with the validated nonanimal training method that it already owns.

To e-mail Baystate’s CEO and chief of trauma, visit PCRM.org/Research.



 

PCRM Online, February 2011

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