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Tell the Air Force to Replace the Use of Pigs in Combat Trauma Training Course

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Originally Posted: July 3, 2012

Ask the Air Force to Replace the Use of Pigs in Combat Trauma Training Course

FROM Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM)

ACTION

Please take a minute to ask the base commander, Col. John A. Cherrey, and unit commander, Col. Harold L. Maxwell, to immediately replace the use of pigs with these human-based methods.

 

Sign an online petition (copy/paste URL into your browser):
https://secure2.convio.net/pcrm/site/Advocacy?pagename=homepage&page=UserAction&id=485&autologin=true&JServSessionIdr004=o917i3sa58.app209b

And/or better yet, make direct contact:

Col. John A. Cherrey
Base Commander
and
Col. Harold L. Maxwell
Unit Commander
Online contact form (copy/paste URL into your browser):
http://www.dm.af.mil/main/contactus.asp

Community Relations
phone (520) 228-3378

INFORMATION / TALKING POINTS

Pigs will be used and killed in a combat trauma training course conducted by Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Ariz., despite the existence of human-based training methods. In this course—intended for Air Force Special Operations pararescue jumpers—pigs are rendered unconscious and may be subject to amputations, burns, and abdominal evisceration. However, nonanimal, human-based training methods exist. Please take a minute to ask the base commander, Col. John A. Cherrey, and unit commander, Col. Harold L. Maxwell, to immediately replace the use of pigs with these human-based methods. We have provided text for you, but if you decide to write your own message, please be polite and encouraging. Here are some talking points:

The curriculum for this course can be taught using any of a variety of realistic, high-fidelity medical simulators. For example, the Cut Suit, by Strategic Operations, Inc., was specifically designed for combat trauma training courses and can be used to teach a wide variety of procedures, including all of those featured in the live tissue portion of the upcoming course. Cut Suit can teach extremity tourniquet application, extremity arterial hemorrhage clamping, surgical incisions to the thoracic and abdominal cavity, hemorrhage control of organ structure, and suturing or stapling of organs and skin.

Compared to live tissue training, the Cut Suit more closely replicates the experience of treating a wounded human casualty. The system allows for interaction with a live patient during the emergency assessment and treatment process. Furthermore, body armor, uniform, clothing, and equipment can all be worn over the suit. Compared to an unconscious, anesthetized animal, these elements more closely recreate the emotional stresses of working on a living, wounded human.

Other simulators designed specifically for this type of training have been developed and are available for use. Maryland-based Operative Experience, Inc., uses medical simulators with unprecedented anatomical and surgical fidelity within a rigorous experiential instructional paradigm to reduce training costs while increasing effectiveness. Recently, one highly regarded battlefield trauma expert and Uniformed Services University professor of surgery stated about Operative Experience's devices that it is "as close to human tissue as anything I've ever seen...[T]these models are like nothing else out there...Combined with a curriculum, they have the capacity to revolutionize training."

I understand that the decision of whether to use simulators or live animals in the course is yours. I urge you to make the transition to human-based training methods and make the change a policy for all future courses. 


Thank you for everything you do for animals!