Espreso. Global

Lack of doctors, first aid kits, armored vehicles for evacuation: medic tells about situation at front

16 March, 2024 Saturday

Alina Sarnatska, a senior company medic with the Armed Forces of Ukraine, has shared her views on the critical shortage of medical equipment and qualified doctors, which endangers the lives of the military

She said this on Espreso TV.

"In fact, 30,000 tourniquets for the entire Ukrainian army is not such a big number, it could be a normal stock. Because, for example, my friend on the evacuation uses 30 tourniquets a day - this is one evacuation brigade, it's not as big a figure as it seems. And to provide everyone with tourniquets to work with, you need a huge number. Now I don't see the situation changing and everyone getting quality tourniquets, unfortunately," said Sarnatska.

Regarding the availability of first aid kits at the front, the company's senior medic added: "When I say that there are no tourniquets, I mean that there are no standard first aid kits in sufficient quantities. We need to ask the Medical Forces command about the reasons. It is very important to motivate people, because there are certain superstitions, there are people who (this is very rare, but I have seen it) take everything out of the first aid kit and put the New Testament in it because they believe in it - it is very important to control this. The most important thing is to have these supplies, because not everyone has volunteers, not everyone can raise half a million with one post on Facebook, and we have to help those who do not have such opportunities, they just have to get the kits from the warehouse."

According to the doctor, NATO armies use air and other forces and means to evacuate their military. The military emphasized that even the well-known Humvee four-wheel drive armored vehicles are very few at the front, so the wounded have to be taken out in old Polish or Ukrainian off-roaders.

"We really need to evacuate the wounded within the golden hour, that is, one hour to the stabilization post (the place where combat medics evacuate the wounded from the front line - ed.), but we are not in such a war, not in such circumstances, and for absolutely adequate reasons we cannot do this. In many places, medics drive ordinary hoopties. We don't have medical armored vehicles almost anywhere, and because of this, it is basically impossible to provide a golden hour. Plus, there are areas where evacuation can take up to 30 days, such as the left bank - you know what I mean. Recently, my friend evacuated his wounded soldier after 10 days with an open fracture, so we are not talking about a golden hour almost anywhere," summarized the Ukrainian Armed Forces sergeant. 

Sarnatska also said that the army lacks qualified personnel.

"I'm not a doctor by profession - I'm a graduate student of social work and I've never prepared to be a doctor, I don't even like medicine. But these are the times, and I have a big question: what happened to hundreds of qualified doctors, why women doctors are not being mobilized and have not been mobilized before, why they were freely allowed to go abroad even without children. Because of this, a lot of women medics are not working at the front, even those who have received officer ranks, those people who should be meeting these needs now, but unfortunately, for some reason they do not see their duty, and ordinary guys and girls who have never been trained for this before are doing it," the servicewoman explains.

  • On March 14, Ukrainian Railways demonstrated a medical evacuation train for the first time. As of today, the total number of cars involved in medical evacuation in Ukraine is 62.  

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