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Moose52
9 September 2004, 08:35
Army's got their goat
Humane Society decries animals' use in training medics

By Dick Foster, Rocky Mountain News
September 9, 2004

COLORADO SPRINGS - The Army used to injure dogs to help train medics in combat medicine. Critics complained, so it switched to goats.

Now that practice is under attack, too.

Humane Society officials are fuming over a Fort Carson exercise in which goats are intentionally wounded, practiced on by Army combat medics then euthanized.

An Army spokesman said the training can save lives, but the Humane Society said the military could spare the goats by relying on electronic simulations instead.

"We have an estimate that about 150 goats will be used. Some of these goats will be shot," said Martin Stephens, vice president for animal- research issues at the Washington, D.C.-based Humane Society of the United States.

Medics will then practice repairing the injuries in training sessions called "wound labs," Stephens said.

Army spokesman Ben Abel, of Fort Bragg, N.C., confirmed Wednesday that the animals are killed and cremated after the training exercise.

The program is used throughout the Army's Special Forces, where medics with counterinsurgency units may be far from hospitals.

"Special Operations medics must learn to independently manage critically injured patients during the first few hours of their injury and to sustain them for hours or days," said Army Special Operations spokeswoman Rebecca Ellison.

The goats are anesthetized before being wounded. The inflicted injuries are designed to "replicate actual combat wounds," but the goats are "treated as humanely as possible," Ellison said. She denied reports that some animals are pushed off cliffs to create injuries.

The wound labs are nothing new, both Stephens and the Army say. The Army used dogs in the mid- 1980s before outcries from Humane Societies forced them to substitute farm animals for canines.

Although the medics gain experience in trauma units of big-city hospitals, hands-on practice with the animals is essential, the Army said.

"The bottom line is that this training can, and will, save countless human lives when it matters," Ellison said.

Humane Society officials want the Army to use "virtual models and robotic animals" to train medics. "The military has had 30-plus years to figure out how to train medics without killing animals," Stephens said.




The Associated Press contributed to this report.

charmon
9 September 2004, 09:35
The Nursing/Paramedic program here at the college I work at uses the simulators they refer to in this article. They don't simulate any of the trauma that one would expect to see on the battlefield. They can simulate illnesses, cardiac, etc. problems.

Maybe they should switch to shooting squerrels?

Marauder
9 September 2004, 10:41
Hey, if Gitmo's getting overly full, then spare the goats and find "other sources". If not, then take Martin Stephens to a forward hospital in Iraq and see why using those goats in training is so vital. Some people just don't get it. Fuck 'em.

Guy
9 September 2004, 11:43
They need to concentrate on the men/women that do the job. Instead of the training/techniques they use to train up too perform.

I don't know anything about using animals as training aids...I could tell you about humans injured and having to respond in-order to save their lives.:eek:

Take care.

Reaper375
9 September 2004, 12:03
I'm of two opinions on this...

On one hand, I can't stand the thought of something being shot or hurt that isn't going to be used for food. I don't trophy hunt, although I have no problem with those who do.

On the other hand, I understand completely that you need to get as realistic as possible when training. I don't see these reporters complaining when guys have to go out on a live-fire or do a jump from 500 feet at 2am with a third or more of their body weight strapped to their bodies. They shrug and say "Well, train like you fight."

Well, although I don't like thr thought of goats being shot and/or having their bones broken, being burnt, etc. I DO understand that it's for the benefit of the American fighting man. If shooting a goat, saving it, then euthenizing it is going to save SSG Smith who was shot in the abdomen and is fighting to get home to his wife and kids, I say plug away at the goats.

IMHO, there are right ways, and wrong ways to do things. I believe the US Army is going about it the right way - to save lives.

DY
9 September 2004, 13:17
Moose52. Just curious as to why you posted this. It's certainly SOF context. But are you looking for insight? And why?

jsmurphy
9 September 2004, 13:26
Originally posted by Reaper375
If shooting a goat, saving it, then euthenizing it is going to save SSG Smith who was shot in the abdomen and is fighting to get home to his wife and kids, I say plug away at the goats.


I agree completely. Well said.

Doc P
9 September 2004, 13:34
Roger that. Plastic manequins and/or people with mulage are not even close to real trauma injuries.

"Well, train like you fight." - Exactly Reaper

RangerWinnie
9 September 2004, 13:39
Goats are the most natural animals to use for this training because Rangers smell like goats. This helps with the realistic training aspect.

"RANGER SNAPLINK, GET YOUR GOAT SMELLING ASS OVER HERE!!"

CAP MARINE
9 September 2004, 13:45
oh no, dont shoot squirrels.shoot some of those PETA people.

DY
9 September 2004, 13:46
Originally posted by RangerWinnie
Goats are the most natural animals to use for this training because Rangers smell like goats. This helps with the realistic training aspect.

"RANGER SNAPLINK, GET YOUR GOAT SMELLING ASS OVER HERE!!" That wholle herd mentality, too. I love how they all pick on the sick and weak ones.

rna
9 September 2004, 13:58
Why use the goats? There is always Michael Moore or Rene Gonzalez. :confused:

Moose52
9 September 2004, 17:30
Originally posted by DY
Moose52. Just curious as to why you posted this. It's certainly SOF context. But are you looking for insight? And why?

Just saw it in the hometown paper this morning and posted it here just to see what people thought. I thought there might be some medics here who have gone through the training and would have something to say about it.

Personally, I don't really have a problem with the Army using goats/dogs/whatever if it gives the medics the training they need, but that's just my .02 as I have no military experience.

definitely wasn't trying to make a statement about the policy or stir up a hornets nest....I apologize if it came across that way to anyone.

Guy
9 September 2004, 17:38
Originally posted by Moose52
Just saw it in the hometown paper this morning and posted it here just to see what people thought. I thought there might be some medics here who have gone through the training and would have something to say about it.

Personally, I don't really have a problem with the Army using goats/dogs/whatever if it gives the medics the training they need, but that's just my .02 as I have no military experience.

definitely wasn't trying to make a statement about the policy or stir up a hornets nest....I apologize if it came across that way to anyone.

We only trained on "PATIENTS"! Or each other. :(

I was stuck so many times during training...it ain't even funny!

Take care.

Guy
9 September 2004, 17:40
I did kill a chicken during SERE training...only because I was starving.:D

Take care.

Reaper375
9 September 2004, 17:56
Originally posted by Guy
I did kill a chicken during SERE training...only because I was starving.:D

Take care.

How did you figure out how to fry it with hot sauce?

Guy
9 September 2004, 18:05
Originally posted by Reaper375
How did you figure out how to fry it with hot sauce?

If they had "field fried chicken" with hot sauce...someone did not tell me. I was just happy to eat something. :D

Take care.

SOTB
9 September 2004, 19:38
For the past 12 years, I have trained all of my students with mini goat labs supervised/taught by former SF medics. All of our goats are anesthecized BEFORE injuries are applied.

I don't know anything about the electronic manequins, but I do know the stress that a responder feels as the "patient" he is working on is obviously under some serious pressure if something right is doesn't quickly.

The sight and SMELL of blood, the intestines spilled on the deck, the gaping wounds or bubbling from lung shots, can this be simulated? The feel of a broken spine or an amputation with a resulting diminishing blood flow? Maybe it can all be simulated.

For me I have never doubted my decision to sacrifice the lives of these goats to increase the potential of my guys to survive a life-threatening injury.

FWIW, we burn the goats afterwards in keeping with our heathenic practices of worshiping the forgotten Norse-gods....

tony762
9 September 2004, 20:43
Originally posted by Reaper375

Well, although I don't like thr thought of goats being shot and/or having their bones broken, being burnt, etc. I DO understand that it's for the benefit of the American fighting man. If shooting a goat, saving it, then euthenizing it is going to save SSG Smith who was shot in the abdomen and is fighting to get home to his wife and kids, I say plug away at the goats.

IMHO, there are right ways, and wrong ways to do things. I believe the US Army is going about it the right way - to save lives.

IMHO there is not too much that is more cowardly or disgusting than to abuse, torture, etc... animals.
this being said, im in agreeance with Reaper and others that this is a vital training tool that is needed, and if any animal is to be shot etc... then a goat is a good a choice, far better than a dog!
the humane society is a valuable organization, but they tend to be over run with bunny huggers, and start on crusades like this that are out of order.
to loose this as a training tool would be a fuck up, no simulator can replicate what a live patient can, i dont give a fuck what anyone says.
hopefully the army wont get politically correct on this one.:rolleyes:

tony762
9 September 2004, 20:44
Originally posted by Southoftheborder
FWIW, we burn the goats afterwards in keeping with our heathenic practices of worshiping the forgotten Norse-gods....

ODIN IS PLEASED! :D

rgrjoe175
9 September 2004, 22:14
Originally posted by Reaper375
How did you figure out how to fry it with hot sauce?

And how did he climb that 10' fence to get to the chicken????

Guy is a work of art.. priceless..

JP:D

tacmedicff
9 September 2004, 22:16
Now it is goat lab that they are complaining about. Fine letís stop hurting goats and get the Dept. of Correction to give us some death row inmates. It would be better training than those cute wired furry goats.
Plus it would free up a little room in the prisons too.

rna
9 September 2004, 22:54
My honest say on this...

I understand the meaning of "train like you fight" but I think injuring goats or any animals for that matter for field training is a over the top, and it does disturb me. However, I am in no position to judge whether the Army really needs to go that far or not, and if they decide this kind of training is essential in producing more effective medical personel, then let them do what they do. Also, one thing that lowers my temperature about this is that at least they use anesthesia.

RsovRanger
10 September 2004, 03:01
RNA..

I don't think you have the background or understanding to have any viable comment on this.

Edited by me..sorry

rgrjoe175
10 September 2004, 03:25
Originally posted by rna
My honest say on this...
I understand the meaning of "train like you fight"


No you dont

If you did you would have no problem with it.

JP:mad:

JBierlyRN
10 September 2004, 09:52
I once failed a test and recycled because it took me 5 minutes and 40 seconds to apply a dressing and control a hemorrhage on a live patient. You know why....cause blood is slippery and sometimes dressings don't work the first time. Now if this was a simulation, I could have shown you a picture perfect tourniquet, followed by a picture perfect pressure dressing with resulting flawless hemostasis. But you know what.....in the real fucking world, with real blood and real sweat, sometimes picture perfect isn't good enough. Sometimes you need to pull some wazoo shit out of your ass to make that dressing stay in place. And sometimes you have to reassess and reinforce it until it does. And if you don't do it in less than 5 minutes, you may lose a brother. Only a live patient will ever teach you that. I don't lose any sleep over it. I wouldn't lose any sleep over doing live tissue at GITMO either.

P.S. Odin was the name of the herd's Alpha Male when I was in school. Coincidence.......I think not.

Matchanu
10 September 2004, 09:56
I thought this whole thing was classified, when was it unclassed?

RangerCharlie
10 September 2004, 10:05
Thank God they do train so they can react when shit happens. Who knows when during a shoot splashback or errant round will clip someone and they need help. Or someone will stick a M9 in their leg...

JBierlyRN
10 September 2004, 10:10
It is still classed, but every few years some tree hugger hears a rumor of some training going on CONUS or OCONUS and writes an article so the Army has to defend itself. None of the instances I have heard of originated within SOF, but with conventional units doing cross-training or pilots attending SERE school. Made the front page of the Fayetteville Observer back in 2000.

rna
10 September 2004, 10:58
My mistake, sorry for the comment.

SOTB
10 September 2004, 14:35
Originally posted by rna
My mistake, sorry for the comment. Even though I am late getting to this, STFU! Friggin wannabes giving their two cents....

tony762
10 September 2004, 15:21
Originally posted by Southoftheborder
Even though I am late getting to this, STFU! Friggin wannabes giving their two cents....

:D

DY
10 September 2004, 17:09
Originally posted by Moose52
Just saw it in the hometown paper this morning and posted it here just to see what people thought. I thought there might be some medics here who have gone through the training and would have something to say about it.

Personally, I don't really have a problem with the Army using goats/dogs/whatever if it gives the medics the training they need, but that's just my .02 as I have no military experience.

definitely wasn't trying to make a statement about the policy or stir up a hornets nest....I apologize if it came across that way to anyone. Not at all. Just trying to figure out where your coming from in context to M.O.

67 Fastback
10 September 2004, 18:39
Not meaning to butt in, but I have a question. In all seriousness, not meant in context of "Would you do it? cause I don't think you would.", if they authorized the use of deathrow inmates for the same thing, would you be okay with it?

RgrBarney
10 September 2004, 19:05
OO!!, I wanna say something too!

Too bad they can't make gyros out of the goats after they're done with them and feed the students. Mmmmmm...goat gyro...drooooool.....

Only medic training I ever did was combat lifesaver at batt. We did the trauma lanes and all that stuff with fake wounds. Piece of cake. The difficult part was sticking an IV in your buddy under blackout conditions with a mini chem in your mouth and NODs. If any of you have done CPR classes, you know the dummies they use are pretty easy to deal with. Well, imagine if the dummy was panicking because it couldn't breathe or it had blood and vomit all in it's mouth or it's face was smashed or it's rib cage was shattered. Not so easy all the sudden.

I want my medics trained as realistically as possible. They're just goats. Personally I wouldn't see anything wrong with using more dogs or cats from death row type shelters. At least that way something good comes out of the poor things death. Whichever animal gives them the most realistic training would be fine with me.

As for 67 Fastback's question of inmates. I don't think it would be right to cause the injuries, but I'm sure their are injuries almost daily in a large prison. Why not rotate medics in training through the prison hospital and let them train on the inmates like that? I got no problem with it. Hell, Army doctors can do breast implants to stay proficient in plastic surgery type skills right?

OK, I'm done giving my useless opinion on something I have little knowledge about. Thank you for your time.:D

Doc P
10 September 2004, 19:07
If a criminal is deamed unfit for society and can be used to strengthen the training of Medics, Corpsmen and others in need of hands on trauma training I don't see why not. Yes it seems extreme because now we're talking human bodies, but what better to prepare you for the real thing? Also, eauthinasia is less painful than lethal injection. No heart stopping drugs, they simply fall asleep.

SOTB
10 September 2004, 19:14
Originally posted by RgrBarney ....Why not rotate medics in training through the prison hospital and let them train on the inmates like that? I got no problem with it. Hell, Army doctors can do breast implants to stay proficient in plastic surgery type skills right?....During my time in the company we didn't have many Corpsman, so we augmented our paltoons with having a fully qualified EMT in each team. Part of the deal was that they would pull duty a couple of nights per month in base ambulances as EMTs. It wasn't the same as what you are mentioning, but some of our guys did have the chance to deal with some serious situations....

tony762
10 September 2004, 21:00
Originally posted by KGPannell
If a criminal is deamed unfit for society and can be used to strengthen the training of Medics, Corpsmen and others in need of hands on trauma training I don't see why not. Yes it seems extreme because now we're talking human bodies, but what better to prepare you for the real thing? Also, eauthinasia is less painful than lethal injection. No heart stopping drugs, they simply fall asleep.

personally id rather see humans (deserving ones) used as guinea pigs than animals, better for training as well.
FWIW the drug combo used to kill death row inmates is banned in veternary medicine because its cruel and inhumane.
the veternary drugs do stop the heart BTW but its painless.

DY
10 September 2004, 22:48
Originally posted by Southoftheborder
During my time in the company we didn't have many Corpsman, so we augmented our paltoons with having a fully qualified EMT in each team. Part of the deal was that they would pull duty a couple of nights per month in base ambulances as EMTs. It wasn't the same as what you are mentioning, but some of our guys did have the chance to deal with some serious situations.... Interesting enough, the folks in NYC who get all the serious trauma calls are the BLS units, not the Paramedics.

tony762
10 September 2004, 23:16
Originally posted by DY
Interesting enough, the folks in NYC who get all the serious trauma calls are the BLS units, not the Paramedics.

BLS????

medicchick
10 September 2004, 23:40
BLS= Basic Life Support. EMT-B's.

Doctor_Doom
11 September 2004, 02:05
Originally posted by KGPannell
If a criminal is deamed unfit for society and can be used to strengthen the training of Medics, Corpsmen and others in need of hands on trauma training I don't see why not. Yes it seems extreme because now we're talking human bodies, but what better to prepare you for the real thing? Also, eauthinasia is less painful than lethal injection. No heart stopping drugs, they simply fall asleep.

I don''t think the issue is whether a human body is better for training, but rather that the state killing any individual is to be treated as a means for furthering other functions as a convenience... we aren't Communist China, after all...

FWIW, I don't think anything can prepare you for the sight and smell of blood like blood. A counter argument can be made that since the medics will train on live patients anyhow, the use of animals is unnecessary. Like Guy said, people train on patients, and I didn't notice any difference in the OR between medical students who opted out of the animals labs and the ones who didn't.

Still, if we kill a few goats to further training, there's not a whole lot I can see wrong with that. I found the dog lab and the pig labs very useful in the development of my surgical skills.

Doctor_Doom
11 September 2004, 02:08
Originally posted by tonyh762
FWIW the drug combo used to kill death row inmates is banned in veternary medicine because its cruel and inhumane.
the veternary drugs do stop the heart BTW but its painless.

What combo? or rather, which element is banned, the paralytic or the potassium? although potassium on direct injection is painful, death row inmates get propofol for anethesia and amnesia. Did they used to do a direct injection into animals for euthanasia?

DY
11 September 2004, 02:45
Originally posted by Doctor_Doom
I don''t think the issue is whether a human body is better for training, but rather that the state killing any individual is to be treated as a means for furthering other functions as a convenience... we aren't Communist China, after all...

FWIW, I don't think anything can prepare you for the sight and smell of blood like blood. A counter argument can be made that since the medics will train on live patients anyhow, the use of animals is unnecessary. Like Guy said, people train on patients, and I didn't notice any difference in the OR between medical students who opted out of the animals labs and the ones who didn't.

Still, if we kill a few goats to further training, there's not a whole lot I can see wrong with that. I found the dog lab and the pig labs very useful in the development of my surgical skills. I'm going to suggest here, that those who "chose" to train on live tissue, gained their experiece as valuable. Those who did not choose to exploit it, were somehow detached from the whole trauma experience. And as such, are the kind of doctors that I despise to interact with. In other words, in the hospital setting, training on animals may only provide a psycholgical advantage to the immunity of life and death, gore, etc. But for the combat medic, there is not only the psychological advantage (which is highly valuable), but the mental advantage of focus and dexterity. Quite honestly, there is nothing like live tissue. Whether it is the psychological impact, which may paralyze some, or the physical and mental experience of pursuing homeostasis, fake injuries will always be precieved by the brain and hands as just what they are.

rgrjoe175
11 September 2004, 03:01
Well we got a combat medic's comments.. Thread closed..

JP