Healthcare is super expensive in the U.S., but part of the price pays for the comfort of knowing that our practitioners honed their skills in top universities, not by practicing on livestock. If you're in Egypt and you need care, chances are the helping hands learned how to perform surgery on farm animals.
That's right: Egyptian advanced trauma responders had for years honed their training on live, albeit sedated, sheep and goats. That is until August, when PETA donated three human-like "TraumaMan" chest dummies to the Egyptian Life Support Training Center in Cairo. Not only will the new mannequin-esque replacements help physicians prepare for the real deal, they are also "mercifully lifeless," as described in an article on Nature.
The way it's worked in Egypt for a while now involves physicians cutting holes in tranquilized ruminants inside a lab in order to practice -- it's essentially an educational sacrifice. The dummies offer an inanimate, reusable, and perhaps a more practical solution for medical training.
The life support center director says the human torso simulators are a Godsend and are "allowing us to really expand" training and open satellite centers across Egypt. The center used TraumaMan to train nearly 50 healthcare providers in Libya and Tripoli last month. Each chest replica is comprised of a plastic abdomen and neck sheathed in synthetic skin, which is tossed out after each training.
And so, as with many good things, the wear and tear on the simulators could expedite their path to dummy heaven. Abdelhakim Elkholy, the center's director, is already planning for that day.
"It’ll be a problem when they run out,” Elkholy told Nature. “They are expensive and importing them is going to be a problem at the moment because of the currency issues we are facing in Egypt. I’m really worried about how we will continue.”
Such conundrums are just the kind PETA is keen to solve in the name of animal welfare, and the group has already pledged to continue providing Elkholy and the center with more dummies if it will spare the sheep.