Two lecturers teach medical staff in the hospital in al-Hol.
With regular trainings we ensure the quality of the treatments in the hospital and offer the staff the opportunity to train in different medical areas. Photo: CADUS

Trainings and Burns

The financing of our hospital has been secured for the time being and we are continuing to train medical staff e.g. in terms of dealing with the treatment of burns, which we can treat as the only hospital in the camp.

Even if media attention is currently almost exclusively focused on COVID-19, we should not forget that all other diseases, injuries and other emergencies are not diminishing or less important.

An example from our hospital in al-Howl: the treatment of burn injuries. These are divided into different "degrees". While grade 1 has been experienced by each of us (e.g. on a hot stove, on a hot engine or exhaust pipe..), grade 2 has already caused significant burn blisters. Grade 3 corresponds to open wounds where the skin has been completely burned away by the heat.

A UNHCR residential tent standing at the al-Hol refugee camp in northeast Syria.
The majority of the camp consists of many such tents, close together. If one of them catches fire, fires spread quickly, which residents repeatedly fall victim to. Photo: CADUS

These burns have special demands on the treatment. On the one hand, due to the size of the open wound, the risk of wound infection is much higher and on the other hand these wounds only heal with the formation of scar tissue. This means that many burn victims, who are not adequately cared for during the healing process, often have significant restrictions in the parts of the body where the burn wounds were caused throughout their lives.

In addition, there is the fact that considerably more burn injuries occur in refugees who have to live in camps in makeshift accommodation or tents. People have to live there in relatively close quarters, tents and makeshift shelters are much more prone to fire than massive houses. People often cook on open stoves and heat with unsuitable oil or wood heaters.

Three people sit on a patient bed in the hospital and listen to the lecturers' statements.
As a result of the war since 2011, many medical professionals have not been able to continue their training and are happy to finally learn something new or to refresh their knowledge. Photo: CADUS

In Al Hol we are the only field hospital that is currently generally taking care of burns up to the 3rd degree. In addition, we train our nursing staff on a regular basis, so that during the healing phase they can work towards minimizing movement restrictions, so that the patients can return to a "normal" everyday life as soon as possible.

Author: by Jonas Grünwald

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