Advertisement

Quebec doctors are providing virtual training for Ukrainian health-care workers

Click to play video: 'Russia-Ukraine conflict: Mariupol medics treat patients, residents salvage food amid shelling'
Russia-Ukraine conflict: Mariupol medics treat patients, residents salvage food amid shelling
WATCH: Russia-Ukraine conflict: Mariupol medics treat patients, residents salvage food amid shelling – Mar 5, 2022

A group of Quebec doctors have created a series of virtual training materials on life-saving procedures for Russian invasion health-care workers suddenly working in a war zone.

Trauma surgeon Dr. Dan Deckelbaum, who is the surgical and procedural skills director at McGill University’s Steinberg Centre for Simulation and Interactive Learning in Montreal, said the project was driven by Ukrainian physicians, who are now facing thousands of patients with life-threatening injuries.

12
Oleksandr Konovalov, an ambulance paramedic, center, pushes a stretcher with a woman injured by shelling in a residential area at a maternity hospital converted into a medical ward in Mariupol, Ukraine, Tuesday, March 1, 2022. Russian strikes on the key southern port city of Mariupol seriously wounded several people. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)
22
Medical workers unsuccessfully try to save the life of Marina Yatsko's 18 month-old son Kirill, who was fatally wounded by shelling, at a hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine, Friday, March 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

“These types of hostile environment are suddenly calling upon a significant number of health-care workers,” he said. “This can play an important role in making sure the procedures are done to one’s best ability.”

Story continues below advertisement

Deckelbaum’s team recorded a series of video tutorials after he was contacted by colleagues in Ukraine when the conflict erupted at the end of February, he said.

READ MORE: In 2-day spree, 61K users book Airbnb stays in Ukraine with no plans to go

The multimedia content offers 10 technical videos and 10 lectures — each between three and 20 minutes — that teach basic life support techniques and emergency life-saving procedures that can be performed by non-surgeons, including chest tube insertion and airway ventilatory management.

“If you’re a cardiologist or dermatologist, you are a very good physician but you don’t know how to take care of injuries, because that’s not your area of expertise,” Deckelbaum said. “What we have done with McGill University simulation centre is creating those videos of how to perform essential procedures for emergency and trauma care.”

11
Medical workers operate on people injured by shelling in a residential area at a maternity hospital converted into a medical ward in Mariupol, Ukraine, Tuesday, March 1, 2022. Russian strikes on the key southern port city of Mariupol seriously wounded several people. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

The videos were filmed in a simulated operating room, translated from English to Ukrainian and delivered in less than 24 hours.

Story continues below advertisement

Dr. Junko Tokuno, a thoracic surgeon who helped to film and edit the videos, has been working on developing similar virtual training for the past six months for medical students at McGill University. She said her experience allowed her to put together the content rapidly once the request came in.

“In these situations, where many patients are in danger and for doctors, there’s no time to refer to books,” she said in an interview Sunday. “Videos can show exactly how procedures need to be done, with audio and visual guidance.”

READ MORE: Explained: What is the history of Ukraine’s separatist regions?

Tokuno said the videos are easy to distribute everywhere in Ukraine, “as long as they have secured electricity and internet.”

“There is a massive number of casualties and injuries every day, every moment,” she said. “Resources are limited, the number of doctors who have experience with treatments for seriously injured patients is limited.”

“We wanted to instruct physicians to be able to save lives.”

Advertisement

Sponsored content