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An Update on SCCM Relief Efforts in Ukraine

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SCCM President Sandra L. Kane-Gill, PharmD, MSc, FCCP, FCCM, provides an update on the SCCM emergency response efforts in Ukraine.

As the humanitarian emergency unfolds in Ukraine, the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) is rapidly deploying support to critical care clinicians and patients. The Society is providing medical equipment, supplies, and critical care educational resources. SCCM is also in contact with local healthcare professionals to ensure that ongoing efforts are focused and impactful.

Thank you to those who have already made a gift to support the Ukraine humanitarian response. To learn more about contributing, visit

Targeted Supplies

SCCM and Direct Relief have received unprecedented support from donors, pharmaceutical companies, and other industry partners in this humanitarian response.  As a result, the two organizations are mobilizing support quickly and coordinating the delivery of essential medical supplies, medications, and personal care items to targeted hospitals and areas with the most need. This includes hospitals in Ukraine as well as regions receiving refugees.
Emergency medical backpacks filled with items for wound care, personal safety, and other supplies essential for treating critically injured patients are en route to the Ministry of Health of Ukraine. Officials indicate that the backpacks are a top priority. Monoclonal antibodies (bamlanivimab and etesevimab) have also been shipped. These vital deliveries were made possible by donations from the SCCM disaster relief fund.

Direct Relief is a nonprofit humanitarian organization that provides emergency medical assistance and disaster relief. SCCM has partnered with this group many times before, most recently in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Haiti earthquake.

Focused on Areas Most in Need

Earlier this week, SCCM reached out to nearly 600 critical care clinicians in Ukraine and the surrounding region to voice its support and offer the full breadth of its emergency response campaign. The email included links to free critical care educational resources targeted to mass casualty response strategies from SCCM’s LearnICU library. SCCM also requested information on the conditions and needs of the medical community. Many have since reached out directly to SCCM to help leadership build a comprehensive list of contacts, understand the supplies and resources needed, and help formulate a targeted, strong emergency response.
SCCM knows that oxygen supplies in Ukrainian hospitals are a major issue, compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic. An estimated 1700 people are being treated for COVID-19 in Ukraine, and less than 40% of the country is fully vaccinated against the virus. The World Health Organization estimates that the demand for oxygen due to the conflict will increase by 20% to 25%. Demand is growing while supply is drastically decreasing. SCCM is rapidly sourcing oxygen concentrators, ultraviolet luminaires for disinfecting, and other supplies.
Other healthcare issues SCCM is monitoring include:
  • Insulin and other cold chain noncommunicable disease medications are likely to be in critically short supply. The Ukrainian Diabetes Federation has indicated that 15,000 children in Ukraine have type 1 diabetes. Access to insulin for children and adults will quickly become a critical issue with supply chain disruptions, pharmacy closures, and power interruptions impacting cold chain handling.
  • Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. Ukraine has the second-highest rate of HIV/AIDs in the region, and tuberculosis is a major challenge, with a high percentage of drug-resistant tuberculosis. Ukraine has also been fighting a polio outbreak since late 2021. The disruption in access to medications and health services combined with the displacement of communities will negatively impact these public health challenges.
  • Maternal and child health. New and pregnant mothers and their children are going to be exceedingly vulnerable. Normal healthcare access is being disrupted, and there will be shortages of food and other supplies. In certain areas, damage to gas and power infrastructure will also have a major impact, particularly with cold temperatures.

SCCM Stands With Ukraine

Again, I thank you for your support of our critical care colleagues as they work tirelessly during this humanitarian crisis. I am proud of the work we have accomplished in just a short time, but I know this is just the beginning of an ongoing, sustained effort to fulfill a duty to these clinical professionals and their patients. It is during these moments that SCCM’s mission to secure the highest-quality care for patients is most near to my heart.


Posted: 3/4/2022 | 0 comments

Knowledge Area: Crisis Management 

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