Scale of Ukraine war casualties ‘horrific’ – doctor

A highly experienced Australian surgeon says the scale of casualties he’s seen in the Ukraine conflict eclipses anything he’s seen in six warzones over the past three decades.

Cardiothoracic and trauma specialist Craig Jurisevic volunteered for surgical duties in Ukraine between August and October 2022, and February and May 2023.

“Ukraine is nothing like I’ve experienced before. Even Afghanistan and Kosovo at the front line was horrific as well,” Dr Jurisevic explained.

“But the scale, the number of casualties in severity is nothing like anything that’s been since World War Two.”

He said the work of highly skilled medics, improved communications and transport mean more critically injured soldiers are making it back to Ukraine’s field hospitals about one kilometre from the front line.

“Soldiers who would have died in Korea or Vietnam are actually surviving to make to the next level of care,” Dr Jurisevic said

“So we’re being presented with these patients who are basically in pieces and still alive, many of whom we can’t do anything for.”

Aus trauma specialist shares knowledge with Kiwi medics

https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.609.1_en.html#goog_624081828Play Video3:05

Craig Jurisevic has twice risked his life to work on the front line in Ukraine. (Source: 1News)

He said the front line hospitals are often short-staffed with limited supplies, and doctors have to accept everyone can’t be saved.

“You have to accept that, you have to be pragmatic in those situations,” Dr Jurisevic said. “You need to focus all your efforts on those you think you can save and that keeps you focussed.”

Dr Jurisevic said new techniques and procedures that help stem massive blood loss are helping patients with catastrophic injuries like the loss of limbs.

But the trauma and injury inflicted on soldiers and innocent victims alike will take Ukraine years to recover from, he said.

Craig Jurisevic speaks in Wellington
Craig Jurisevic speaks in Wellington (Source: 1News)

Dr Jurisevic said there is widespread post-traumatic stress disorder and it’s going to be a difficult path ahead for a massive number of men and women to cope with.

The surgeon travelled to Wellington to address more than 300 health workers involved in emergency and trauma care at the National Trauma Symposium last month. He received a standing ovation.

Dr Jurisevic said armed conflict is a “sign of a failure of leadership”.

“Having been across five or six conflicts now, if you take egotistical men out of the equation you probably wouldn’t have as many wars.”

About The Author

Sometimes when a business is growing, it needs a little help.

Right now Kaniva News provides a free, politically independent, bilingual news service for readers around the world that is absolutely unique. We are the largest New Zealand-based Tongan news service, and our stories reach Tongans  wherever they are round the world. But as we grow, there are increased demands on Kaniva News for translation into Tongan on our social media accounts and for the costs associated with expansion. We believe it is important for Tongans to have their own voice and for Tongans to preserve their language, customs and heritage. That is something to which we are strongly committed. That’s why we are asking you to consider sponsoring our work and helping to preserve a uniquely Tongan point of view for our readers and listeners.

spot_imgspot_imgspot_imgspot_img

Latest news

Related news