Retina World Congress

Retina World Congress

Source:

Ruban A. Treating retina patients during war in Ukraine. Presented at: Retina World Congress; May 12-15, 2022; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Disclosures: No products or companies that would require financial disclosure are mentioned in this article.
May 13, 2022
1 min read
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Blast injuries, destroyed clinics: Retina care during war in Ukraine

Source:

Ruban A. Treating retina patients during war in Ukraine. Presented at: Retina World Congress; May 12-15, 2022; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Disclosures: No products or companies that would require financial disclosure are mentioned in this article.
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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — More than 2 months of war in Ukraine have disrupted retina care and turned ophthalmologists into combat surgeons, according to the president of the Ukrainian Vitreoretinal Society.

Andrii Ruban, MD, PhD, spoke at the Retina World Congress live in a video conference from Kyiv to detail the horrors of the Russian invasion and how his society is working to provide care.

Andrii Ruban

“On February 24, the life of Ukrainians was divided into before and after,” he said. “Russian full-scale war against Ukraine has been going on for more than 2 months — more than 2 months of heroic resistance from our heroes.”

Over the course of the war, Ruban said more than 400 medical institutions have been destroyed in Russian attacks. He shared images of bombed-out hospitals and even his own workspace riddled with bullet holes.

The remaining ophthalmologic clinics are more like fortresses, he said. The vitreoretinal society has been working to maintain supply lines to these clinics and provide care for patients.

“The Ukrainian Vitreoretinal Society is enormous in peacetime to save the eyes of patients with severe eye disease,” Ruban said. “But now the war has sent us the new, extremely difficult task of the combat injury. Together with our colleagues, we are fighting for our patients’ lives and for their chance to see the world.”

Ruban said the blast injuries he has seen in the past 2 months have been the hardest thing he has ever encountered. Ophthalmologists are often required to operate on both eyes at the same time and need the skills of a plastic surgeon, he said.

Since the war began, Ruban said the Ukrainian Vitreoretinal Society has provided ophthalmic centers with permanent and free assistance for military personnel and civilians with eye injuries. He thanked the international retina community for its continued assistance.

“We really appreciate the support of international ophthalmologic societies from Europe, America, Canada and other countries,” Ruban said. “Of course, for your moral support, we thank you.”