Canada Ukraine Foundation’s Medical Missions in Kyiv. Part 1

Dr. Oleh Antonyshyn operates during CUF's medical mission in Ukraine

Victor Hetmanczuk, Canada Ukraine Foundation, for New Pathway – Ukrainian News.

Canada Ukraine Foundation has so far held six medical missions in Ukraine. This number includes two missions in Kyiv in 2015-2016 which were held at the Central Military Hospital Clinic in Kyiv (CMHCK) paid by the Canadian government through Global Peace And Security Fund (GPSF).

The main purpose of these two missions was to provide consultations and surgical reconstructions to patients with complex traumatic defects who would otherwise not receive treatment. The missions were carried out as planned and exceeded their targets.

The first surgical mission was completed Oct 21 –

Nov 1, 2015. It was overwhelmingly successful:

  • 21 Canadian medical professionals participated, including 3 craniofacial surgeons, 1 neurosurgeon, 1 hand microsurgeon, 2 surgical residents, 10 nurses, 2 anesthetists and 1 hand therapist.
  • 90 patients with war traumas were seen in consultation. Ukrainian surgeons, anesthetists, nurses and trainees were actively engaged in the triage, management and preoperative assessment for each patient.
  • 93 surgical procedures were completed on 38 patients. Detailed intraoperative instruction was provided in a variety of trauma reconstructive procedures. 34 patients underwent hand therapy.
  • Ukrainian surgeons, anesthetists and surgical assistants actively scrubbed and participated alongside Canadian specialists in each of the 93 procedures. Three operating tables were run daily from 9 am – 7 pm for 5 consecutive days.
  • In addition to those scrubbed and directly assisting in surgery, medical professionals from across Ukraine (other Kyiv hospitals and other military hospitals in Lviv, Odessa, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhya and Dnipropetrovsk) attended surgery for educational purposes. Ukrainian medical students volunteered their time and translated for both missions while being exposed to surgeries and learning opportunities they would have otherwise never had the chance to observe.
  • Patient population included 36 military men, one child and one civilian woman. Both the child and the woman were victims of war.
  • The value of services provided during the course of this mission was calculated based on the costs to the Ministry of Health if the same services were provided to Canadian patients in Ontario. The OMA Schedule of Benefits and the Ontario Ministry of Health Healthcare Indicator Tool were employed in determining these costs. During this first mission, the value of surgical services provided by Canadian professionals totaled CAD 489,578.10.

The second surgical mission to Kyiv was completed from February 18 – 29, 2016 at the CMHCK. It was extremely successful as well:

  • 21 Canadian Medical Professionals participated, including 3 anaesthetists, 3 craniofacial surgeons, 2 hand and micro surgeons, 6 OR nurses, 2 clinic nurses, 3 PACU nurses, 1 hand therapist. The President of Canada Ukraine Foundation, Victor Hetmanczuk, joined the team to observe.
  • 105 patients with war trauma were seen in consultation. Ukrainian surgeons, anesthetists, nurses and trainees were actively engaged in the triage, management and preoperative assessment for each patient.
  • 61 surgical procedures were completed on 40 patients. Detailed intraoperative instruction was provided in a variety of trauma reconstructive procedures. 39 patients underwent hand therapy.
  • Ukrainian surgeons, anesthetists, and surgical assistants actively scrubbed and participated alongside Canadian specialists in each of the 61 procedures. Three operating tables were run daily from 9 am – 7 pm for 5 consecutive days.
  • In addition to those scrubbed and directly assisting in surgery, medical professionals from across Ukraine attended the procedures for observation. The amount of time that each person observed or participated in the surgeries varied, based on their experience and particular educational needs or interests. Many of these people attended the first medical mission for observation as well.

As funding from the GPSF did not arrive in time to make many of the purchases, which were needed for the first medical mission in October, Stryker Canada was kind enough to loan CUF power equipment and bone fixation instruments, as well as provide us with an industry grant for implantable materials essential for the success of the first medical mission. Stryker Canada in-kind support was valued at $152, 544. The equipment, which was lent to us, was returned upon arrival back to Canada and the implants were left in Ukraine. The craniofacial bone fixation equipment (the equipment that Stryker had lent to us) was purchased in Canada in time for the second medical mission in February and remains at the CMHCK.

Above: State-of-the-art surgical technology was utilized in reconstructing the most complex casualties of war: 22 yr old male with post shrapnel defect skull, forehead and brow. Pre-op CT scan showing massive skull/forehead defect. Post-op CT showing total skull and orbit reconstruction with custom titanium mesh. Pre-op patient photo demonstrates horrendous deformity. Post-op photo, day 3 post surgery, patient fully ambulatory, with restoration normal features forehead.

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