Tough Day To Be A Goat
Thursday was a bad day to be a goat at Fort Sam Houston. For emergency medical training, medics on the cusp of deployment go through classes using both simulated patients and a "live tissue lab," i.e., Goat Central.
Hair Balls spoke with Col. Dr. Patricia Hastings, the head of US Army EMS, who explained why animals, as opposed to simulation models, are necessary for certain types of procedures.
"Medics are called upon to act quickly, to act correctly, and to bring back a patient rather than a victim," Hastings told us.
Which seems obvious, but the point is that if a soldier takes one in the chest and his lung collapses; or if a civilian child steps on an IED and gets his leg blown off, there is such little time to fix the problem. And according to Hastings, there just isn't a simulation yet that beats a goat for teaching a medic what to do in those situations. Specifically, Hastings said the goats are necessary for three types of wounds: Airway, chest, bleeding (i.e., a severed ephemeral artery a la Black Hawk Dawn).
Rice Owls Mens Basketball vs. St. Thomas University Men's Basketball
TicketsWed., Dec. 21, 7:00pm
Advocare V100 Texas Bowl
TicketsWed., Dec. 28, 8:00pm
Rice Owls Mens Basketball vs. Middle Tennessee State Univ Blue Raiders Mens Basketball
TicketsThu., Jan. 5, 7:00pm
PRCA XTreme Bulls
TicketsFri., Jan. 6, 7:30pm
While a PETA representative has described the training as "cutting open live goats and breaking their legs with tree trimmers," Hastings says the goats are under "deep anasthesia" and are monitored by a veterinarian and vet techs. After the training, the goats are euthanized. There are typically five or six trainees per goat.
Hastings said that, for everyone in the lab - including her -- "realizing the great gift this animal has given to our [medics]" is a responsibility that is not taken lightly. Who knew that goats gave us more than just milk, cheese, and troll-tricking abilities?
-- Craig Malisow
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Houston, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.