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Our War Continues | Prehospital Stroke Care In Ukraine

Here you can read reports received by the Emergency Medical Care and Disaster Centre of Kharkiv Oblast in eastern Ukraine between 26 April 2022 and 19 July 2023. In each case, paramedics attend to a patient with suspected acute stroke while the war continues around them.
Angels team 04 September 2023

The explosions became louder and louder

26/04/2022 During the duty of paramedic Boldyr A.О, nurse Yarovoy S.G and driver Sherbatiuk V.А. Nurse Yarovoy tells the story.

We got the call: “Paralysed”. At that time, Kharkiv was under constant shelling, fighting was taking place around the city. We understood that it was necessary to work as quickly as possible, because at any moment missiles and rockets could land anywhere and we would be needed at our destination. We quickly collected the medical history, examined the patient, and after making a diagnosis of suspected acute stroke, within 20 minutes we were on our way to the hospital. The explosions became louder and louder. Arriving at the hospital, I ran out to open the door, and then a series of explosions began, which came closer and closer. As a result of the last one, I was pushed in the chest by a shock wave. The driver ran out and stood in front of me, covering me with his back. All this time, the paramedic in the passenger compartment of the car was calming the frightened patient. Having hospitalised the patient in time, we breathed a sigh of relief, but our war continues...

It was complicated by complete darkness and shelling

04/30/2022 during the duty of the team n103 consisting of paramedics Rudnev I.B. and Palia A.V. and driver Oberemko A.V.

During enemy shelling, they provided assistance to and transported two female patients both with a diagnosis of acute stroke from Slatine village of Dergachyvskyi district to the designated regional clinical hospital.  The ambulance reached the patient “LNB” at 9.53 am. The provision of assistance was accompanied by constant explosions, but despite that, the brigade transported the patient to a specialised hospital. On the same day, the same team received a second call at 7.42 pm to attend patient “LIH”, 82 years old, in the village of Slatine. He was diagnosed with acute stroke and hospitalisation to a medical institution was necessary. It was complicated by complete darkness all around and frequent explosions from shells. But despite the difficulties and shelling, the brigade helped the patient and delivered him to the regional hospital.

Fragments of buildings flew overhead

07/20/2022 during the service of call #3131, 11:44. Brigade 1301 consisting of paramedic Natalia Ivanovna Lutsenko, the driver Mukovoz Valery Viktorovych in the village of Bezruky.

A woman, 80 years old, lost consciousness while receiving rations on the street. During the service of the call, directly on the street, targeted shelling began nearby. Fragments of combat shells, fragments of buildings, lumps of earth flew overhead. Despite this, the patient was examined. The diagnosis – suspected acute stroke. Qualified assistance according to the protocol was provided to the patient. The brigade conveyed the patient to the regional clinical hospital for thrombolysis.

Under threat to life

Report to the EMS director by acting senior paramedic, Molchan Vadym.

I would like to inform you that at 11.08 am on April 12, 2023, brigade 1201, consisting of paramedic N.S. Velychko and the driver Bakhmet O.S. received a call to attend to a patient, 83 years old, in the village Kolodyazhne of the Dvorichan district, which is located in the border strip [near the border with Russia]. The patient had been paralysed for 3 days but due to enemy artillery shelling and the lack of cellular communication was not able to phone and to receive medical assistance. Despite the threat to life, the brigade provided assistance and transported the patient to the Veliko Burlutka Hospital with the diagnosis, suspected acute stroke.

A drone was circling above them

Report by O.H. Horyagin.

On May 17, 2023, while on duty, brigade 2301, consisting of paramedic from the Ministry of Emergency Situations Goryagina Olena Hennadiivna, nurse Yulia Ivanivna Knysh, and driver Plastun Serhiy Volodymyrovych, received a call at 9 pm to the village of Petropavlivka, which is on the frontline. People in this settlement are under constant enemy fire every day. Since September there is no electricity and gas. After receiving the challenge, the brigade was forced to get to it without lighting devices to avoid detection by enemy radar. Arriving at the scene of the incident, the team worked very quickly and carefully because a drone was constantly circling above them. After the examination, the patient was diagnosed with suspected acute stroke. She was given assistance and a decision was made to immediately transport her to the Chuguyiv Hospital. During the transportation, artillery shelling began, and the patient’s condition deteriorated sharply. Additional treatment methods were performed, after which the condition stabilised and the transportation to the medical facility was continued.


Clinical death was diagnosed

Report by Kokhan R.O., Head of Department of EMD no. 8.

On July 15, 2023, brigade no. 800, which was formed under the American programme and based in the EMD department no. 8, consisting of doctor I.I. Karpus, paramedic L.P. Boguta and driver V.A. Akartsev, saved a sick soldier, 59-year-old Beridze D.M., sergeant of the ZSU [Ukrainian Armed Forces]. He fell sick at 2.40 pm and suddenly lost consciousness. The 800 brigade was called and diagnosed suspected acute stroke. It was important to be in time for the therapeutic window. Unfortunately, artillery shelling began. There was no time to think. During transportation, the patient’s condition worsened. The monitor showed asystole at 4 pm. Asystole occurred on the monitor at 4:00 p.m. Clinical death was diagnosed. But the team did not give up. It was not for nothing they had received training in carrying out resuscitation measures in critical conditions. Resuscitation measures were immediately started with indirect heart massage and artificial lung ventilation. Adrenaline 0.18%- 1.0 was administered intravenously. At 4.04 pm, sinus rhythm appeared, and heart activity and breathing resumed. The patient was brought to the hospital in a timely manner in a stable condition, where he was given thrombolytic therapy. Thanks to the joint professional actions of brigade no. 800 and military medics, the life of our defender of Ukraine was saved.

A projectile landed next to us

Brigade 907, consisting of Oleksandr Serhiyovych Rudakov, Kormylenko Tetyana Vasylivna and Yuri Ivanovich Brusentsov.

It happened in Kupyansk district. We were called to the village of Senkovo. The connection was bad because of the shelling, so the head of the village council called us to the patient, barely finding a network. When we arrived at the call, we saw a 65-year- old man who could not raise his left arm and leg. We began to provide help, until suddenly the artillery fire started again. We began to calm the man, because he started having a panic attack. He’d lost his wife in one of these shellings. Despite our own concern and threat to life, we quickly began to transport the patient. The ambulance car was not able to get close to the patient because the road was destroyed by Russians. But we carried the patient to the car by ourselves. We just started driving when a projectile landed next to us. The car was shaken and sprinkled with earth. We sped up, escaping from danger. On the way, we heard cannonades for a long time. The man was taken to the Chuguyiv Central Hospital. He cried and thanked us for not leaving him. We were so touched by the patient’s reaction. After such moments, you understand that my profession is a call of the heart to save lives. You understand how much the war took from us. It took away peace, a peaceful life, took away our beloved ones. Russians destroyed everything we built over the years. We will never forget it. We will not forgive.


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