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High-Tech Surgical Simulators End Deadly Animal Labs in Seven Countries
publication date: Oct 9, 2015
PETA US Expands Successful Million-Dollar Donation Programme That Saves Animals and Improves Medical Training
A PETA US donation of $1 million (£657k) in high-tech simulators will modernise physician-training programmes in seven countries and spare the lives of thousands of animals in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
Through a landmark partnership with Seattle-based medical simulation manufacturer Simulab – and with the support of PETA Germany, the McGrath Family Foundation and Cathay Pacific Airways – PETA US has donated 40 state-of-the-art TraumaMan surgical simulators to national surgical training programs in China, Cyprus, Greece, Indonesia, Pakistan, the Philippines and the United Arab Emirates. These countries will now use TraumaMan – which replicates a breathing, bleeding human torso, complete with realistic layers of skin and tissue, ribs and internal organs – instead of using animals to train thousands of doctors to perform life-saving surgical procedures on victims of traumatic injuries.
"Doctors everywhere deserve the best, most advanced life-saving trauma training available – and that means using advanced simulators, not mutilating and killing animals", says PETA UK Director Mimi Bekhechi. "PETA US' donation will equip physicians with the tools that they need to save human lives while sparing the lives of thousands of animals."
Virtually all programmes teaching the popular American College of Surgeons–sponsored Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) course in the US, Canada and other Western nations use TraumaMan, but until now, ATLS programmes with limited budgets in other countries have required trainees to cut crude holes into the chests, throats, abdomens and limbs of thousands of live dogs, goats, pigs and sheep each year. The donated TraumaMan systems are more portable, cost less and are reusable, unlike animal-based exercises, and studies show that doctors who learn life-saving surgical skills on TraumaMan are more proficient than those who cut into animals, largely because TraumaMan actually mimics human anatomy.
Last year, PETA US donated 67 TraumaMan simulators worth $1.675 million (£1.100million) to nine countries – Bolivia, Costa Rica, Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Mexico, Mongolia, Panama and Trinidad and Tobago – in the first round of this successful effort to modernise ATLS training. More than 25 per cent of nations teaching this course have now ended animal use as a result of PETA US’ programme, which is the group's largest contribution to promote the use of non-animal scientific methods to date.