Physicians in Ukraine: Caring for Patients in the Middle of a War

JAMA. Published online March 16, 2022. doi:10.1001/jama.2022.4680

Roman Kizyma, MD, director of pediatric oncology at the Western Ukrainian Specialized Children’s Medical Center in Lviv, Ukraine, has spent most of his waking hours since Russia invaded his country dealing with challenges his medical training never prepared him for: transferring children who’ve just had a bone marrow transplant from another hospital 350 miles away in an area of heavy fighting, caring for 3 times more children with cancer than his hospital typically treats at one time, planning the evacuation of hundreds of very sick children to hospitals throughout Europe.

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Evgeniy Maloletka/AP Images

“It is really a complicated process,” Kizyma said in an interview March 10. “We never did this before. I think experience elsewhere in the world is really limited.”

No matter the obstacles to ensuring that Ukrainian children with cancer get the best care possible, he said, “We are determined because we think this is our contribution for our future win over Russian aggressors.”

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