Medical trains have already evacuated three thousand wounded civilians since the beginning of the full-scale war.
The routes and stops of this train are always kept secret for the safety of medics and evacuees.
Only for the hundredth flight, they made a kind of exception — they published a photo with a schedule showing the dates and cities of Lviv — Kyiv.
An international medical team works on the train with the railwaymen: therapists, surgeons, anesthesiologists and nurses.
Such flights make it possible to evacuate wounded, sick and traumatized citizens, including children, whose transportation requires special conditions and maintenance of a stable condition to the destination.
Sometimes people taken out of shelling feel safe for the first time on the train.
“They start sharing memories, telling stories. There is a very strong emotional bond between patients and our staff,” he said at a press conference in Kyiv Christopher Stokes, Chief Emergency Coordinator of Doctors Without Borders in Ukraine.
Doctors listen to these stories and provide psychological help.
The first 4-car medical train for the evacuation of wounded civilians was launched by Ukrzaliznytsia and the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders on March 26, 2022.
Then it was possible to equip it in the shortest possible time, the technical equipment and equipment of the flights was carried out by Doctors Without Borders.
It was very difficult, because the world has not had the practice of building evacuation medical trains for a long time.
“There was no time for long planning, because the war was already in full swing, it was a matter of saving as many lives as possible. In the end, within a month, on April 26, Doctors Without Borders was given a second — even bigger, this time 8-car — train, which became a full-fledged hospital on wheels for transporting the wounded from cities close to the war zone and delivering them to hospitals and hospitals in the west,” he said Chairman of the Board of JSC “Ukrzaliznytsia” Evgeny Lyashchenko.
Now dozens of Ukrainian and international doctors regularly travel to Donbas, Kharkiv region and the Ukrainian south. They help save Ukrainian families.
The head of the train is Igor Komarov says that it is very important to place the sick in the cars on time.
“Sometimes there is a small gap of time between the shelling,” he says. — We have to quickly take the patients to a safe place. Most of all, children with amputations and severe injuries are remembered.”
The uniqueness of the medical train is that there is a separate intensive care car with an ultrasound machine, oxygen concentrators, ventilators with an oxygen flow of up to 60 l/min, defibrillators, i-STAT analyzers, a cardio monitoring system, and infusion pumps. There are also full-fledged wards and a full range of necessary medicines.
The medical train is a hospital on wheels, where the health of the wounded is monitored by special equipment and professional doctors during transportation.
“All works on conversion of wagons were performed at Ukrzaliznytsia’s own facilities. These are truly unique trains that have received high marks from international and Ukrainian doctors,” he noted Yevhen Shramko, member of the board of JSC “Ukrzaliznytsia”.
In the midst of the evacuation, Ukrzaliznytsia received first-aid kits, high-quality medicines, disinfectants, tonometers, stethoscopes, thermal blankets, tires and surgical instruments for first aid on regular passenger flights from Doctors Without Borders.
Albina Zharkova, project coordinator with the train, says that during the year of the project there was almost no staff turnover.
“Everyone in his place does everything that depends on him in order to ensure the harmonious functioning of medical evacuations. But I really want there to be no need for the 200th flight,” Zharkova noted.
By the way, nowadays medical trains not only transport patients, but also bring them home. “They are returning to the conquered areas, such as Kherson,” says Christopher Stokes. “Or they want to return home to Dnipropetrovsk region after treatment in the west of the country.”
Ukrzaliznytsia has been doing this since the beginning of the full-scale invasion and will not stop these flights as long as there is a need for them.