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University suspends use of dogs for advanced-trauma training

Posted November 7, 2008

Idaho State University has suspended the use of dogs as part of its Advanced Trauma Life Support courses.

The American College of Surgeons (ACS), which oversees and certifies the trauma life support training, has approved the use of dogs to teach the techniques and skills necessary to treat human beings who have experienced traumatic injury.The ACS has also approved the use of simulation manikins for such training. While there is yet to be an effective simulation equivalent to the experiential learning that comes from training with living tissue, further institution review and deliberation has concluded that the primary objectives of trauma training can be achieved using alternate methods approved by the ACS. 

Previously, the institution has employed the use of approximately four dogs a year to teach physicians, surgeons and emergency response personnel proper techniques for treating trauma patients. The animal procedures and practices were reviewed by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, as well as the Association for the Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International.

All affirmed that ISU's practices have been humane, appropriately reviewed and implemented, and are in compliance with national animal care regulations.