Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Animal Testing Improves Lives

Some medical breakthroughs after animal testing

Before drugs and other products are approved for use by people, they often are tested on animals to help determine if they are safe and effective. This screening method has resulted in medical breakthroughs over the past century, including:

Local anesthetics. In the early 1900s, cocaine, the first local anesthetic, was found to be dangerous in tests with rabbits and dogs. That led to development of the safer procaine.

Blood transfusions. By 1920, research with dogs, guinea pigs and rabbits led to the safe storage and routine transfusion of sterile blood.

Kidney dialysis. This technique was devised in the 1940s from studies with guinea pigs, dogs, rabbits and monkeys as a way to save the lives of people suffering kidney failure.

Replacement heart valves. These became available to patients with congenital heart problems in the 1950s after tests were done on dogs, calves, rabbits, guinea pigs and rats.

Heart transplants. This was first done on a human in 1967, building on experiments with dogs.

Life-support systems for premature babies: The development of special ventilators, incubators and monitors for these tiny infants in the 1980s resulted from monkey studies.

Combination drugs to treat HIV. These were developed in the 1990s after studies on mice and monkeys. Link

With the fire bombing of a medical researcher’s home in California last week by animal rights terrorists, I thought it would be prudent to post a list of just some of the things that medical research on animals has provided to human medicine. There is no doubt that everyone knows someone that has benefitted from at least one of the medical breakthroughs listed. Thank a medical researcher for it.

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