Mich. emergency physician trains Ukraine health care workers

“Initial stabilization and good pre-hospital care can make all the difference in these situations,” said Dr. Florian Schmitzberger


By Leila Merrill

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — A former army medic who is now an emergency physician at the University of Michigan Health has been training health care workers in Ukraine.

“Initial stabilization and good pre-hospital care can make all the difference in these situations,” said Dr. Florian Schmitzberger in a University of Michigan blog post. “When that is followed by good trauma care in the hospital, that allows for survival even in some of the worst cases.”

Schmitzberger began going on medical relief missions in 2009, which was before he attended medical school.

He also works for Global Response Management, a nongovernmental organization, and was asked to help in Ukraine in March.

“I was tasked to be the medical lead for the first educational mission from pretty much the beginning of the conflict,” said Schmitzberger. “The health care workers in Ukraine were prepared to soak up all of this information because they were worried about providing the best possible care to an increasing number of trauma patients with many different needs.”

Schmitzberger has since reportedly lectured hundreds of health care providers and provided training on many facets of care from stabilization at the point of injury to using tourniquets and chest tubes to advanced trauma life support.

He and his team also worked to improve the transport of patients to safe zones and to provide direct medical surgical relief at hospitals.

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