In April, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) sent Dr. Alon Barr of Kaplan Hospital to a surgeons’ training at the Royal College of Surgeons of England.
“I almost never practice orthopedics, plastic surgery, etc. We practiced making medical decisions under stressful conditions. As a surgeon, in such cases you are expected to be creative, open-minded, and know how to do everything, even if that is not your area of expertise. You need to be able to perform limb surgeries but also to deal with pregnancy and deliver babies. 85 percent of the course was practical and with close supervision and guidance. For a surgeon, this is very important.”
The training was delivered by medical professionals, some of whom took part in ICRC missions in conflict zones and are, therefore, highly experienced. Together with surgeons from India, Switzerland, Lebanon and Syria, we trained the teams for 5 intensive days in the fields of surgery, orthopedics, plastic surgery and gynecology.
“I think this is the best course I’ve taken so far. I should really give it credit. Treating people in disaster zones requires collaboration between doctors from different specialties: surgeons, plastic surgery, etc. I hope the cooperation will continue, both because Israel is a country that sends delegations to disaster areas and because there is always the opportunity to volunteer for the Red Cross mission and help save lives.”
Experts predict that our region will experience an earthquake in the future, how much do you think medical teams are prepared for it?
“I think, as far as medical teams are concerned, we are well prepared, but that does not mean that there is nothing to learn. experience is the best teacher. Our course, educators have experienced these things and learned a lot from them. I hope we don’t have to implement it, but if we do, I hope we do it well.”
Since 2014, the ICRC has cooperated with MDA and the Israeli Ministry of Health to organize four training courses aimed at improving the ability of the Israeli health system to operate in harsh conditions, using limited resources, in cases of conflict or natural disaster situations such as earthquakes.
A total of 103 participants, including physicians, nurses and paramedics from MDA, Israeli Ministry of Health and IDF have attended these trainings.
Next month, the ICRC , together with MDA and the Israeli Ministry of Health, will further train nurses from all Israeli hospitals on operating under extreme conditions after an earthquake.