Organization files complaint against DHMC for live animal use

by Sonia Qin | 3/2/17 11:34pm

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine filed a complaint today with the U.S. Department of Agriculture requesting that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service investigate Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center’s use of live sheep for emergency medicine residency training.

PCRM’s director of academic affairs John Pippin said that in July 2016, the PCRM received notice that DHMC was using live sheep to train their emergency medicine residents for urgent procedures. According to an ongoing PCRM survey, 91 percent of surveyed emergency medicine residencies exclusively use non-animal methods to teach residents.

Pippin said that the PCRM is requesting the USDA conduct an unannounced inspection of DHMC to investigate the claims, which he hopes will spur DHMC to change its procedures to align more closely with practices at other institutions.

Pippin said that the DHMC should be conducting training with simulators at its Patient Safety Training Center, which he said work as well as or better than using animals to train its residents in emergency medicine and trauma.

One widely-used simulator is the TraumaMan System, which is a realistic anatomical human body simulator with lifelike skin, subcutaneous fat and muscle, according to the official complaint letter filed by the PCRM.

As of press time, DHMC could not be reached for comment.