“As a participant of the 2017 ASA Global Scholars Program, as a representative of Ukraine in WFSA Professional Wellbeing Committee, as a Ukrainian anaesthesiologist, in connection with Russia’s attack on my country, I would like to ask all members of the American Society of Anesthesiologists for help.
Around Ukraine, as Russian bombings are growing more indiscriminate and more civilians find themselves in harm’s way, hospitals are becoming increasingly perilous places to work. They are hit by heavy artillery, and doctors and nurses are killed while performing their duties. It is officially confirmed that 34 medical facilities had been damaged and that at least 10 doctors had been killed.
The most dire conditions are not in Kyiv, the capital, but in cities partially or wholly surrounded, such as Kharkiv in north-eastern Ukraine, where three medical facilities have been heavily damaged by artillery: the Kharkiv City Hospital, the Regional Children’s Hospital and a blood bank.
Physicians-anaesthesiologists are literally on the front lines and continuing to provide care to patients from bomb shelters and basements. The work in the field is intense. It often happens that the mind would still want to continue but the body says the limit came up.
The biggest trouble is the interruptions to supply chains. Most hospitals rarely have stocks of drugs and consumables beyond a few days due to storage-space constraints and the cost of keeping large inventories. These stocks are rapidly consumed, particularly items needed for treating war injuries, such as antibiotics, blood products and dressings. Medical oxygen supplies in Ukrainian hospitals are dangerously low.
Under the horrifying reality of the Ukrainian hospitals, (pre)natal-care facilities and kindergartens being bombed, Ukrainian anaesthesiologists are doing their best and risking their lives, striving for the well-being of their patients.
Your donations can help save thousands of Ukrainian lives – civilians and defenders, as all of them need your support and financial assistance. Ukrainian doctors appeal to the medical professionals all over the world: help us save lives!”
- Dr. Maryna Freigofer, 2017 ASACF Global Scholar and Ukrainian anesthesiologist, from a letter to ASA on March 9, 2022