‘Stop the Bleed’ trains Ukrainian Soldiers on battlefield medicine
May 31, 2023

The U.S.-based non-profit organization ‘Stop the Bleed’ is making a significant impact in Ukraine by providing crucial training in life-saving techniques to the Ukrainian military.

Born out of the tragic 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the non-profit collaboration from the American College of Surgeons has expanded its mission to empower soldiers on the frontlines of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Soldiers who have received training credit the newly acquired skills with saving lives in the midst of the conflict.

Dr. Roxolana Horbowyj, a Philadelphia-based surgeon of Ukrainian descent, has been at the forefront of teaching the Stop the Bleed techniques directly to individuals in Ukraine. Using modern technology, Dr. Horbowyj delivers training sessions to Ukrainian soldiers via Zoom.She recalls facing difficulties in the past when students lacked access to essential tourniquets.

However, she has now adapted her instruction to utilize everyday items such as sock-like scarves, spoons, and keyrings, providing soldiers with practical knowledge to control bleeding effectively.

To ensure widespread access to life-saving techniques, Stop the Bleed has also released a YouTube video in Ukrainian. This online resource allows individuals who cannot be trained in person or virtually to learn the essential skills required to stop bleeding before professional medical assistance arrives.

The impact of Stop the Bleed’s training has been profound, as evidenced by the testimony of a Ukrainian soldier who survived in Bakhmut for a month. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the soldier expressed gratitude for the skills acquired through Stop the Bleed, which proved invaluable in life-threatening situations.

Dr. Aaron Epstein, the founder of the non-governmental organization Global Surgical and Medical Support Group, which partners with Stop the Bleed, acknowledges the critical importance of the work being done. He has heard countless anecdotes of trainees in Ukraine using their newly acquired skills to save lives on the battlefield.

Dr. Epstein, who has treated injured individuals in Ukraine and educated medical personnel on the frontlines, commends the dedication and resilience of those who have chosen to stay and help their fellow citizens despite the immense challenges they face.

The impact of Stop the Bleed extends beyond training sessions. The organization has distributed bleeding control equipment, including 50,000 combat application tourniquets, to Ukrainian troops with the funds obtained through $99,000 in donations. This provision of essential medical supplies further equips soldiers with the tools necessary to mitigate life-threatening bleeding incidents.

However, the noble work of Stop the Bleed in Ukraine does not come without risks. The organization and its trainees operate under the constant threat of discovery by Russian forces.

Dr. Horbowyj emphasizes the need for caution during training sessions, with classes occasionally interrupted due to bomb alarms. The safety and security of those involved remain paramount as they strive to provide life-saving education amidst the ongoing conflict.

The efforts of Stop the Bleed and its partners underscore the transformative impact that humanitarian initiatives can have in crisis situations. By equipping Ukrainian soldiers with life-saving tools and empowering them with essential knowledge, the nonprofit is enabling them to save lives on the frontlines. Through their dedication and selflessness, Stop the Bleed is making a significant difference in Ukraine, reaffirming the importance of providing critical medical training and resources to those in need.

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