End Albany’s Old-Fashioned Live Pig Labs
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James J. Barba, President and CEO
Albany Medical Center
43 New Scholar Ave., Mail Code 114
Albany, NY 12208
ph: 518-262-3125 (Ask to be connected to the president’s office)
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SAMPLE LETTER — This letter is prepared to inform you about the issue.
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Dear Mr. Barba,
I am an advocate of viable research and training. Thus, I respectfully ask
Albany Medical Center to suspend its use of live animals in Advanced Trauma
Life Support (ATLS) courses. Emergency medical training is better served by
more applicable and humane non-animal systems.
More than 90% of U.S. and Canadian facilities use non-animal models or
cadavers in place of old-fashioned animal experiments. The American College
of Surgeons no longer recommends animal experimentation in its curriculum.
I urge Albany Medical Center to replace the maiming and killing of pigs with
Simulab’s TraumaMan, among the most commonly used surgical simulators
worldwide. TraumaMan’s anatomical human body facilitates practice of
lifesaving skills and reduces trainee dropout rates. The American College of
Surgeons sanctions TraumaMan for ATLS.
Overall, animal-free research cuts costs and improves proficiency. A timely
New England Journal of Medicine article highlights the “very detailed
feedback and…more subtle measurement of trainee performance” gained from
virtual reality simulators. The article summarizes: Inanimate models are
“safe, reproducible, portable, readily available, and…cost-effective.”
I encourage you to assess the TraumaMan System or alternatives such as
SimMan, a sophisticated patient simulator for team training. Albany is one
of the only U.S. teaching labs that still operates on live, anesthetized
pigs. These living creatures undergo confinement, transport, isolation and
preparation, experiments and slaughter.
Please update Albany Medical Center’s trauma-management training with
methods more relevant to human anatomy and surgery. Killing live pigs may
even violate the federal Animal Welfare Act, given the accessibility of
capable and equivalent non-animal technologies.
SOURCE OF INFORMATION / REFERENCE LINKS
Doctors group blasts use of live pigs in classes
TraumaMan — “Most widely used surgical simulator in the world.”
SimMan — “Technologically advanced manikin to practice the emergency treatment.”
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