Near Ukraine’s southern frontline, medics brave rockets to treat soldiers

0 4

The staff at this point of emergency medical treatment for soldiers near the front line of Zaporizhzhia in southern Ukraine, are not concerned about the danger.

“We don’t have time to think about things or have doubts, we don’t have time to worry, because this is our job and we have to do it,” said Denys, a 35-year-old surgeon who had just finished sewing up a soldier’s head wound as he -explosions threaten.

There were near misses. In March, a Russian rocket landed 10 meters from the entrance to the old, one-story building, spewing shards of glass and chunks of brick onto rudimentary operating tables. Less than two weeks ago, another rocket flattened part of a nearby school house.

Denys, who like most of the other staff gives only the name, runs the center, known as a stabilization point. Similar stations are within easy reach of all Ukrainian front lines.

The job of the medics here is to perform emergency first aid on casualties in order to survive the journey to hospitals over the fighting – a task expected to become even more vital when Ukraine launches its counteroffensive long awaited

Ukraine has chosen its wartime casualty figures in secrecy. Doctors do not say how many they treat or whether the number has changed over time.

The biggest danger to the Ukrainian soldiers, like the sergeant with a shaved head with glistening blood on his head where Denys had prepared a wound in his head, is from the artillery of Russia.

The soldier, who was thrown to the ground by the blast wave from a shell, will now be sent to a hospital to be examined for a possible brain injury.

Another, a doctor with 15 years of experience as an army medic, said artillery accounted for about 90% of the injuries he had treated since the full-scale invasion began in early 2022.

He looked tired, but said he was ready for the long haul.

“Many of those who were mobilized thought that this would end quickly… but those of us who were in the army for a long time understood that this would not last just a month or two, but a long time.”

It was the hardest when several casualties arrived at once, knowing that it would not be possible to treat everyone immediately, said another doctor, also called Ihor.

“We understand who needs to be given help, who unfortunately cannot be given more help, who can expect help: it’s hard to get used to these things.”

Much of the equipment at the stabilization point was provided by private donations and NGOs from Ukraine and abroad.

Doctors were particularly proud of an advanced Canadian machine costing more than $160,000 that can supply oxygen, provide artificial lung ventilation and monitor patients.

Vitaliy, a 30-year-old anesthesiologist who demonstrates the machine, said that front-line doctors sent regular feedback to its Canadian manufacturer, to form an assessment of its effectiveness in combat situations.

(Reporting by Max Hunder; Editing by Peter Graff)

By Max Hunder

Leave A Reply