Last February, the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, explaining that the University of Washington (UW) is violating the federal Animal Welfare Act by using live ferrets in its pediatrics residency program. In the pediatrics residency program at the UW breathing tubes are pushed down the throats of live ferrets to teach endotracheal intubation. This painful procedure is repeated numerous times on each animal and can cause tracheal bruising and bleeding. Non-animal training methods exist, making this use of animals not only cruel but completely unnecessary.
The SimNewB, manufactured by the Norwegian firm Laerdal and developed in partnership with the American Academy of Pediatrics, simulates newborn babies, and the Gaumard PREMIE Blue Simulator is designed to mimic the air way of a premature newborn. UW’s state-of-the-art Institute for Simulation and Interprofessional Studies (ISIS) owns SimNewB simulators. Both of these simulators are appropriate alternatives to using live ferrets for endotracheal intubation training.
More than 85 percent of pediatrics residency programs in the United States do not use animals. It is time for UW to join the majority. So far, responsible UW faculty and administrators have ignored pleas to change this practice. So now, the PCRM, in cooperation with the Northwest Animal Rights Network (NARN) and the Seattle Animal Defense League (SADL), is taking this message to the school’s front door.
Please join us for a demonstration to let the University of Washington know that its use of live ferrets for pediatrics residency training is cruel and unacceptable.
Thursday, October 6 10:30am – 12:00pm
1959 N.E. Pacific St. near the main entrance of the University of Washington Medical Center
Please also e-mail, write, and/or call UW School of Medicine dean Paul G. Ramsey, M.D and ask him to replace the use of animals in its pediatrics residency program.
Paul G. Ramsey, M.D.
Dean, University of Washington School of Medicine
1959 NE Pacific St.
Seattle, WA 98195