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How doctors and volunteers save wounded ATO militaries from amputation

How doctors and volunteers save wounded ATO militaries from amputation

According to the data of Ukrainian traumatologists, about 7% of traumas Ukrainian militaries are inflicted cannot be cured, lead to amputation and prosthetics. In such situation it is volunteers who come to the rescue. A private clinic together with a national Fund have decided to give the militaries the second chance — biotechnological rehabilitation of the ATO participants. Advanced technologies help militaries to preserve their limbs in the functional condition. They do not have to pay for the treatment as the donation of money is open to anyone. Donbas Public TV journalists in «Donetsk Dialogue» program decided to clarify details of this initiative.

«We choose the cases when there is no alternative, only amputation or prosthetics. The project covers 35 people a year, about 3 militaries a month. 15 have been treated already with a positive result and the treatment is over. Others have a stable clinical result. All these patients were under the threat of amputation», says Oleksiy Shershnyov, organizer of charity project «Biotech — Rehabilitation of Wounded».

«The technology that we apply refers to the area of tissue engineering. It is creating body parts analogues, in our case — bones, to treat people. If the defect is big, the bone will not fuse, and the body should be helped with the transplantation of a part of the person's own bone or man-made materials. This method is unique in Ukraine and even in the world. We take bone cells and vessel cells and create the bone together with the vessel grid which will supply the bone with blood» says biotechnologist Dmytro Zubkov.

«There is a chance to save limbs instead of amputatation. For that, one needs cell technology, clinical practice, great experience, and money. The benefit of the project is that all the components have been found without any help on the part of the state», says Oleksiy Shershnyov.

«The initiative of arranging a clinic which is involved in biotechnological rehabilitation using man-made materials to grow bones was offered to the Ministry of Defense. We arranged meetings of the chief surgeon of the Ministry of Defense, of the chief of the military department with representatives of the clinic. The ATO victims were examined. The treatment results got positive evaluation. The Ministry itself cannot direct patients to private clinics as it has its own hospitals and an agreement with the National Academy of Medical Sciences on rendering qualified help to our patients. As a rule, private clinics and experts from abroad who employ such technologies choose patients by themselves. In this situation, the Defense Ministry does not obstruct directing patients to this clinic», says Vsevolod Stebnyuk, Defense Minister's aide.

«It sometimes happens that some doctors do not trust achievements of others and it causes doctors' antagonism, rejection. There was a case when a young man's leg was amputated. When, the next day, we examined the results of x-raying, we understood that it was «our case» though the professor who insisted on amputation said that there was «nothing left to save and the amputation was necessary». If the professor does not know what to save it is not the problem of the soldier or the soldier's relatives. They should not suffer. What punishment should there be for the amputated leg? This is the price of intentional, malicious antagonism», Oleksiy Shershnyov explains.

«In this case, there should be a medical examination conclusion. Any person with a lawyer may apply for medical examination. If the conclusion is that a part of the body was amputated though it could have been saved, the doctor who made the decision on amputation will bear criminal responsibility', activist Tetyana Ivanova comments on the situation.

Victor says that state hospitals cannot help in his case, and the financial help to ATO participants cannot cover independent treatment in the clinic.

«The financial help was very small, and it was only once and not enough to pay for the treatment in a good clinic. As an ATO participant, I got the status and a place at a cemetery», says Victor, military from «Kyivska Rus» battalion.

«No state money is needed to be sent to the clinic. The clinic themselves have found the money. We have signed a memorandum on cooperation with the Ministry of Defense within the framework of this project. The Ministry is responsible for directing the wounded to us. However, not a single wounded military has been directed yet”, says Oleksiy Shershnyov.

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