KINSHIP CIRCLE PRIMARY / PERMISSION TO CROSSPOST
8/1/09: Stop Live Cat Labs At St. Louis Children’s Hospital
Internationally syndicated and animal-friendly cartoonist Dan Piraro created
a comic for PETA in his own characteristic style that highlights the
inadequacy of using live animals to teach medical professionals how to treat
human infants. http://www.peta.org/pdfs/dan_piraro_comic.jpg
EMAIL BLOCK – ALL EMAIL ADDRESSES FOUND FOR THIS ALERT:
email@example.com, Gunn_J@kids.wustl.edu, firstname.lastname@example.org
FULL CONTACT INFORMATION:
William “Clay” Claiborne Dunagan, MD, MS
Vice President, Center for Health Care Quality and Effectiveness
BJC Healthcare, Mail Stop 90-66-500
4444 Forest Park Ave., Suite 500; St. Louis, MO 63108-2212
ph: 314-286-2170; fax: 314-286-2123
Joseph Gunn, MD, Medical Director, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Division of Emergency Medicine, St. Louis Children’s Hospital
1 Childrens Place; St Louis, MO 63110-1002
ph: 314-454-6111, 314-454-2341; fax: 314-454-4345
Larry Shapiro, M.D., Executive Vice Chancellor for Medical Affairs And Dean
Washington University School of Medicine, Campus Box 8106
660 S. Euclid Avenue; St. Louis, MO 63110
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Dear Dr. Dunagan, Dr. Gunn, and Dean Shapiro:
I am surprised St. Louis Children’s Hospital still relies upon live animal
labs for its Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) curriculum. I
respectfully urge you to replace the use of cats in intubation drills with
synthetic models such as sophisticated simulators and manikins.
PALS course sponsor, the American Heart Association (AHA), doesn’t require
or promote animal use. Nonetheless, cats undergo multiple exercises in which
plastic tubes are pushed through their windpipes. Students are encouraged to
learn from their mistakes. But in this case, the “mistakes” are live cats
who can bleed, swell and scar. Their lungs may collapse and improperly
routed tubes can kill them.
Most PALS facilities nationwide now use human-focused models alone.
Simulators yield data relevant to pediatric treatment because size and
location of internal organs resemble human anatomy more precisely.
Simulators also let trainees repeat procedures as often as necessary.
Animal-free learning tools cut overhead to confine, feed and destroy cats. 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.”
Please drop live animal exercises for the PALS course and any other airway
instruction. Medical training is better served by applicable and humane
SOURCE OF INFORMATION / REFERENCE LINKS
Ian Smith, M.A., Research Associate, Laboratory Investigations Division
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals: IanS@peta.org
Help Cats Used In Training at St. Louis Children’s Hospital
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