'Mass casualty situation': Downtown Kyiv hospital braces for carnage doctors fear will come

March 11, 2022

USA Today

As Russian troops mass on the outskirts of Kyiv, Dr. Vitaliy Krylyuk said an uneasy calm has settled at the city's largest downtown hospital

Doctors at the Kyiv Hospital of Emergency Medicine are tending to conventional injuries such as car crashes and gunshot wounds. But Krylyuk fears things will soon worsen if Russian missiles target the city or enemy troops close on the heart of Ukraine’s capital.

“The biggest problem we need to think about is a mass casualty situation,” said Krylyuk, who serves at the Ukrainian Scientific and Practical Center of Emergency and Disaster Medicine, a division of Ukraine’s Ministry of Health. “We’ve never had a mass casualty situation. We know this theoretically, not practically.”

After a flurry of skirmishes and shellings during the first few days of Russia’s invasion, Ukraine's capital largely has been quiet this week. Troops are battling on the outskirts of Kyiv, and surgeons in outlying hospitals have been busy tending to the wounded. But the extra time has allowed Kyiv’s main trauma hospital and Ukraine’s Ministry of Health to prepare.

Vitaliy Krylyuk, a Ukrainian Ministry of Health emergency medicine doctor, helps prepare Kyiv's Hospital of Emergency Medicine.
He said doctors are staying at the hospital around the clock to plan, organize and brainstorm.

“You need to be prepared, because I don’t know when rockets will be in this place or when they start to attack Kyiv,” Krylyuk, an international member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, told USA TODAY by video call.

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