Funding paediatric trauma training for two Ukrainian surgeons 

In the wake of ongoing conflict, we have taken a significant step in supporting Ukrainian doctors. To further strengthen Ukraine’s medical workforce, we sponsored two doctors, paediatric surgeon Dr Dim Ershov and anaesthetist Dr Olga Panasiuk, to attend the Paediatric Advanced Cadaveric Trauma Surgery (PACTS) course for surgeons. 

After the war erupted, Dr Ershov, and Dr Panasiuk were recruited as surgeons for the Ukrainian army. The two doctors previously met our Co-Founder, Professor David Nott, during one of our surgical training courses in the country. Since March 2022, we have trained over 400 surgeons during 12 surgical training courses in cities such as Odesa, Kyiv, Dnipro, Poltava, Lviv and Zhytomyr.  

Deepening our impact

In a bid to strengthen our support for medical professionals in war and catastrophe, we’ve expanded our offering beyond our flagship Hostile Environment Surgical Training (HEST) course. We worked with leading anaesthetists to develop an anaesthesia course and will be developing a nursing course next year, with the goal of saving even more lives inside and outside the operating theatre. 

We also provide scholarships for frontline doctors in need of additional training. Dr Ershov and Dr Panasiuk were funded by us to attend the PACTS course in Newcastle.   

The course, led by Dr Suren Arul, a paediatric surgeon who previously served in the military, is a two-day intensive program that blends surgical procedures with anaesthetics and nursing. The course incorporates realistic scenarios, including intensive role-playing at six different tables with various surgical cases, simulating the pressured experienced in war zones. 

“They kept us on our toes”

After their two days of training, we met up with Dr Ershov and Dr Panasiuk to ask about their experiences. “Teamwork in the training program put us in a more realistic situation.” shared Dr Panasiuk.  “The models were very interesting, very realistic. They kept us on our toes as we would be during real surgery.”  

“We extend our heartfelt appreciation to the David Nott Foundation for their unwavering support. As Ukrainians, we wish to express our deepest thanks to David and the entire foundation for their tireless efforts. Through multiple courses, they have saved lives and limbs, standing as champions for Ukraine and democratic freedom. PACTS will equip us with the skills to be more effective. Without their support, we would undoubtedly be prone to making several mistakes.” Drs Ershov and Panasiuk

Protecting Ukraine’s children

 Undoubtedly, Dim and Olga can now return to Ukraine equipped with the skills and knowledge to perform life-saving procedures and surgeries, said Dr Suren. “Their participation in the PACTS course, sponsored by the Foundation, has undoubtedly elevated their capabilities, allowing them to make a significant impact in their homeland.”

As conflict in Ukraine persists, we will continue to provide training and support to doctors in need. Thanks to a new wealth of knowledge, Dr Dim Ershov and Dr Olga Panasiuk will give more of Ukraine’s children hope for the future. 

Our training in Ukraine