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Ukrainian Doctors Training During a Simulation Mirroring the Maidan…


In the fall of 2015 Patriot Defence began a program in Ukraine, in which doctors are trained to utilise international best practice standards to treat trauma, and at the same time align the practice of Ukrainian medicine to world standards.

The course “Saving life during trauma. Ukrainian Programme (aka Ukrainian Trauma Life Support)” has been completed by 97 Army doctors and 37 civilian doctors.  This time, training was undertaken by civilian doctors from Kyiv, Cherkasy, and Ternopil at the Kyiv City Clinical Hospital No. 17.  The training course was financed by the Ukrainian National Women’s League of America. 
Dr. Oleksandr Linchevskyy leads a practical session during the course

“Hospital No.17 undertakes training all the time, not just for special events or holidays. The best hospital is that, which survived Maidan, and the grenade attack (author: the explosion at the Parliament on 31 August 2015) and, today it is the main institution servicing combined severe trauma, and is always improving”, - says Dr. Oleksandr Linchevskyy, Medical Director of Patriot Defence, and thoracic surgeon at the Hospital No. 17.

Surgeons, trauma specialists, anesthesiologists and neurosurgeons at the Hospital No. 17, who completed the training, work with the most difficult trauma cases in Kyiv. Their work demands improving existing skills and as well as developing new ones. As outlined by the trainees at the course, this level of training is a first for them.

The course consisted of seminars, practical exercise stations folloowed by a simulation exercise in real time. The day before the training course, trainees were advised of the basic principles surrounding pre-hospital care. During the following four days the doctors worked in groups of 4 at each of the practical stations.

In this exercise, the patient has a penetrating injury to his right foot after a grenade explosion. Doctors assess the case, frequently citing examples from their own experiences.

Thoracic Surgeon and Specialist at the Department of Combined Head Injuries at Hospital No. 17, Dr. Dmytro Myasnikov, shares his thoughts during the course: “I am impressed by the teaching methods and the ability to obtain many practical skills in parallel specialities. This helps a great deal in understanding certain moments in the work of my colleagues”.

Dr. Oleksandr Medulianov, a neurosurgeon from the Cherkasy City Emergency Hospital says: “What is presented here and the training for the doctors – is invaluable.  We are constantly trying to find examples of that, which is of most interest to us, and which we face every day”.

The mannequin is the injured patient, whose condition is outlined by the instructor.  The trainees are to provide appropriate assistance to the patient according to an algorithm.

Instructors admit that the course has undergone some improvements, however on this occasion the qualifications of its participants is also much higher.

An American army surgeon & trauma specialist, a director of the ATLS course which began in the USA, and an instructor of the Ukrainian courses noted: “The Ukrainians have taken the basic programme of the course Saving life during trauma. Ukrainian programme–UTLS, and enhanced it to provide more training for Ukrainian doctors.”

Dr. Colin Meghoo was previously an army doctor and an instructor of the ATLS course. He currently works in a general hospital in trauma and general surgery, and has now for the third time been an instructor in the course Saving life during trauma. Ukrainian program (UTLS). “On this occasion we are trainіng experienced doctors.  It was interesting to learn about their experiences.  This invariably forced me to consider my own methods of work”, said Dr. Meghoo.

The senior course instructor, British soldier and paramedic with more than 20 years of experience, Alex Bongartz notes, discussions with the trainees about the training becomes more intense and purposeful. “Many of these doctors have experience working during the Maidan (revolution), and around events after that. We are getting prepared, that in the event that this was to happen again, we will be able to cope much better with the situation." 

Doctors utilising the skills gained during training in giving help to the wounded.

The final component of the course was the simulation exercise around a real life situation, during which the doctors provided aid to actors, playing the part of the injured. The scenario ened with the ambulance transporting the injured protestors to hospital to be involved in a car accident. The task of the doctors was to provide aid to the injured in the pre-hospital stage and during the waiting period at the hospital.

All 23 doctors successfully passed the course and will put their newly gained skills to practice.

Summing up the course, instructor Dr. Blake Vanderlam suggested that all the trainees share their knowledge: “If you share your knowledge with others, then the number of lives that you are able to save is endless.”