CLEVELAND: A neurosurgeon caused a brain aneurysm in a mixed-breed dog last Wednesday at the Cleveland Clinic Hospital to demo a new device used to treat the condition. The name of the neurosurgeon involved has not been disclosed.
A whistle blower alerted PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, that medical-device maker Micrus Corporation was requiring it’s employees to attend a dog lab. According to the statement on PETA’s website, the whistle blower’s claims were validated and letter’s were faxed to both the Cleveland Clinic and Micrus Corporation to halt the dog lab. Their efforts were unsuccessful and the dog lab continued forward. Reports indicate that approximately two dozen Micrus Corp. salesmen watched the demonstration and several participated with the exercise. The animal was placed under anesthesia during the procedure. Afterwords, the dog was then euthenized.
Micrus Corporation manufactures silicone aneurysm coils. Doctors thread the coils through a catheter to the aneurysm site, packing the aneurysm with enough coils to stop blood flow. This system is believed to be a less-invasive means then surgery for the treatment of brain aneurysms. According to The Plain Dealer when an official from Micrus Corp. was questioned about the incident, the representative had no knowledge of the procedure and was quoted “Are you sure you have the right company?”
PETA’s website posted The Cleveland Clinics statement:
“It is our policy to carefully evaluate non-animal alternatives and the minimal use of animals. As an academic medical center, Cleveland Clinic does not allow procedures with animals for the sole purpose of sales training. The situation that occurred yesterday was unauthorized and not in compliance with our policy. Cleveland Clinic officials today notified the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) of the incident. Further, we are conducting an internal review of the matter. We will also be providing physician training and education to prevent this from happening in the future.”
Ohio revised code dictates that animal shelters may sell impounded unclaimed dogs for $3 to non-profit organizations for the use of teaching and experiments. The code also dictates that the animals should be used for research and treatment of diseases. This dog lab was not research or treatment of disease, rather a sales pitch on how their product works. Reports indicate that the animal was purchased from a licensed vendor. Licensed vendors are required to be licensed by the USDA and adhere to the Animal Welfare Act.
PETA is urging the public to email the Cleveland Animal Protective League, The Cleveland Clinics Animal Research Committee and Micrus Corporation to demand a full investigation of the incident and full cooperation with PETA.