St. Louis Children’s Hospital, in conjunction with Washington University in St. Louis, continues to torment cats and ferrets for painful intubation training exercises in their Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) and pediatric residency programs.

During the exercises, plastic tubes are repeatedly forced down the cats’ windpipes. This procedure can cause bleeding, swelling, pain, scarring, collapsed lungs, and even death.

The PALS course’s sponsor, the American Heart Association, states that it “does not require or endorse the use of animals in PALS courses” and that “the AHA recommends that any hands-on intubation training for the AHA PALS course be performed on lifelike human manikins.” PETA has surveyed hundreds of PALS facilities across the country, and nearly every one of them—including St. Louis University, Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center, and St. Louis Community College—uses non-animal methods for intubation training. Similarly, more than 90 percent of pediatric residency programs in the U.S. use only non-animal methods for intubation training.

Research shows that in addition to protecting animals, simulators better prepare medical professionals to treat seriously ill or injured children because they more accurately replicate human anatomy and allow people to practice these skills repeatedly. 

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