Medics at MEDEVAC HUB Jasionka save lives. “The patient lost a lot of blood”
Every week, several to dozens of patients from Ukraine arrive at MEDEVAC HUB Jasionka. That’s already more than 1,500 people. MEDEVAC HUB Jasionka, run by the PCPM Medical Emergency Team, is prepared to care for patients evacuated to European hospitals. This was also the case for a 46-year-old woman whose health and life were in danger. Thanks to the quick intervention of medics at the HUB, and then staff at the Rzeszow hospital, the woman was safely taken to Austria for treatment.
“As a rule, patients who come to us are already medically stabilized and ready for evacuation,” says Adam Szyszka, HUB manager from PCPM. The idea behind the HUB is to care for 1–2 days for people who are evacuated to facilities across Europe for treatment from Ukraine. However, medics at the MEDEVAC HUB Jasionka have to be ready for any eventuality in case the patient’s condition deteriorates.
Critical case, quick decisions
“At MEDEVAC HUB Jasionka, we take care of patients until further evacuation to European hospitals,” Adam Szyszka reports that this is the first time since the HUB was launched that we have had such a critical life-threatening case.
A 46-year-old woman from Ukraine had multiple injuries from the Zaporizhia rocket fire. Unfortunately, during transport to Rzeszów, her condition deteriorated.
“Her condition was deteriorating, and she began to lose a lot of blood,” says Mateusz Stojanowicz medical coordinator at MEDEVAC HUB JASIONKA. Therefore, the medics decided to immediately transport the patient to the Regional Clinical Hospital No. 2 in Rzeszów.
“The patient has lost a lot of blood”
HUB medics informed a hospital in Rzeszów that a patient with massive bleeding, who was originally supposed to be evacuated by ambulance to Vienna, would be coming to them.
“Everything happened very quickly. When the woman’s condition worsened, we were in the process of evacuating the remaining patients to Rzeszów Jasionka airport. Such evacuation has to happen very quickly, especially in such low temperatures. The plane that takes the patients is standing on the tarmac at the time,” explains Adam Szyszka. “Every minute counts,” he adds.
“Saving lives is the most important thing for us, but few people are aware that it is also accompanied by parallel organizational work,” Adam Szyszka points out. We know how it sounds, but we operate in a certain system. “That’s why it’s worth emphasizing here how significant it is to have efficient communication between the MEDEVAC HUB Jasionka, the Polish Ministry of Health, and the Clinical Regional Hospital No. 2, where the patient was taken,” the HUB manager added.
“We stabilized the patient’s bleeding, and then an ambulance from the Rzeszów Regional Ambulance Station transported the patient to the Emergency Department,” reports one of the paramedics at the MEDEVAC HUB, which is managed by PCPM. Just how serious the patient’s condition was is evidenced by the fact that as many as 13 units of blood (nearly 4 liters) were transfused throughout the procedure and surgery. Fortunately, thanks to the quick action of both the medics at the HUB and the doctors, paramedics, and nurses at the hospital, the bleeding was stopped. The patient then underwent specialized surgery at the Polish American Heart Clinic in Rzeszów. Importantly, the patient had the support of a psychologist from MEDEVAC HUB Jasionka at all times, and her family was informed of her condition at her request.
Professional work of the medical team
After the procedure and qualifying the patient for further evacuation, MHJ rescuers transported the injured Ukrainian woman to the airport, from where she could be evacuated to the destination hospital in Vienna for further treatment.
MEDEVAC HUB Jasionka began operation on September 1, 2022, on the initiative and commitment of the health ministries of Poland and Ukraine. The center is run and managed by the Polish Center for International Aid Foundation and the Medical Emergency Team operating at it. It is the first and only such group in Poland certified by the WHO (World Health Organization). The team was established to bring aid and rescue people in humanitarian crises and natural disasters.
The medical hub in Jasionka near Rzeszów is funded by the European Union under the EU Civil Protection Mechanism and supported by the IOM, the World Health Organization, and the Podkarpackie Voivodeship. It provides a safe space for patients arriving from Ukraine before flying to a hospital in another European country for treatment and is part of a broader medical evacuation program for Ukrainian patients launched by the European Union.