British doctor trains Ukrainian medics in warzone surgery over Zoom

Professor David Nott delivered a 12-hour online training course to 573 healthcare professionals.

08 March 2022

A British doctor trained hundreds of Ukrainian colleagues for warzone surgery over Zoom as air-raid sirens blared across the war-torn country.

Professor David Nott, who has worked in a number of conflict zones including Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan, delivered a 12-hour online war surgery training course to 573 healthcare professionals in Ukraine.

During the course on Saturday, one doctor said that air strike alarms were sounding around him, but stayed online to learn as much life-saving information as possible.

Professor David Nott delivered the war surgery training over Zoom (Louisa Robertson-MacLeod/PA)

Among the skills taught were how to deal with injuries rarely seen outside warzones, and skills including how to build makeshift pelvic binders – used to stem bleeding and compress fractures.

Prof Nott, a consultant surgeon specialising in vascular and trauma surgery at St Mary’s Hospital, co-founded the David Nott Foundation in 2015 to provide doctors and medical staff with the skills to treat injuries in areas of conflict and catastrophe.

He said: “At the frontline of conflict zones are medical teams working tirelessly in often under-resourced and ill-equipped hospitals. Many have never experienced traumatic war injuries.

“When the crisis unfolded in Ukraine, we sprang into action to condense my 25 years of war surgery experience on the frontline into a 12-hour course for those in need.”

Dr Henry Marsh, former consultant neurosurgeon at St George’s Hospital, who led the neurosurgery session of the course, added: “I hope and pray that my Ukrainian friends and colleagues will not need to apply all that they learn from the David Nott Foundation webinar.

“But we must do what we can to prepare them for the possible horrors ahead as Russia continues with its evil and murderous invasion.”

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