(ANIMAL WELFARE) Recent undercover footage from animal rights group PETA has revealed a troubling practice at Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL). During a medical training exercise called Pediatric Advanced Life Support, students were asked to intubate cats. Most medical facilities use lifelike simulators for this practice but in WUSTL the cats are put through up to 15 gruelling intubations per session. Some cats even began to wake up during the procedure. PETA writes, “Of the more than 1,000 PALS training facilities, WUSTL appears to be the last facility in the country that is still abusing cats in the course, in defiance of modern science and ethics.” Read on to learn why this practice is barbaric and unnecessary and find out what you can do to help. — Global Animal
PETA has obtained disturbing undercover video footage of cats being subjected to cruel medical training exercises in a course called Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) conducted at Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL) in conjunction with St. Louis Children’s Hospital.
Despite the availability of superior, lifelike infant simulators, which are used instead of animals at other medical facilities around the country, WUSTL continues to lock nine cats in its laboratories and have trainees repeatedly force hard plastic tubes down their delicate windpipes in a crude attempt to teach students how to intubate human infants. Of the more than 1,000 PALS training facilities, WUSTL appears to be the last facility in the country that is still abusing cats in the course, in defiance of modern science and ethics.
In the video, several unskilled trainees are seen struggling for several minutes to intubate two vulnerable cats named Elliott and Jessie as they repeatedly shove tubes down the cats’ windpipes and mishandle metal instruments in a manner that can break the cats’ teeth.
The cats are supposed to be anesthetized, but several participants in the video state that the cats they used began to wake up in the middle of the procedure.
The footage also shows a WUSTL veterinarian discussing how each cat is subjected to as many as 15 intubations each session. Yet, studies show that intubating animals more than five times in these trainings can cause them pain and trauma. WUSTL’s veterinarian and course leader also both admit that some cats’ windpipes are injured during the exercise, which can cause bleeding, swelling, scarring, collapsed lungs, and even death. Each of the nine cats used by WUSTL is subjected to this painful procedure up to four times a year for three years.