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Czech doctors save many soldiers within Mascal operation in Iraq

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Prague, Jan 17 (CTK) – The Czech field surgical team has saved many soldiers within the Mascal (mass casualty) operation in Iraq, its representatives told CTK in a press release on Tuesday, but declined to give their names, citing security reasons.

In a short time, the doctors had to provide care to five patients who were seriously injured in a suicide attack, the report said.

The Czech health personnel left for Iraq in early December. They are to stay in the country for six months.

The team has 17 members. It serves at a U.S. base near Mosul where, helped by Western allies, Iraqi government forces are fighting Islamic State (IS) militants.

The military did not give any details on the place of the incident.

“The day in question was quite calm within the conditions of the deployment,” the surgical team said.

“In the morning, there was a briefing, followed by a routine check of the working place and testing of the instruments,” it added.

However, the doctors received information on heavy fighting later in the morning.

The military doctors were called in to the work centre by a radio appeal from the operation centre late in the night.

“It was clear that something extraordinary was taking place. After the arrival to the hospital, one could sense a tense and difficult atmosphere,” the doctors said.

Then they learnt that a Mascal was declared.

This is why the team started preparing the individual centres.

“Two paramedics were used for the categorisation of the patients outside the hospital, the rest were in the hospital,” the team said.

“The simplified approach to the injured comes into force. Something like emergency alert,” they added.

Thanks to the first specific information, they learnt that they had to treat the victims from the ranks of Iraqi soldiers who were injured by suicide bombers.

The first two injured soldiers were driven in on a U.S. truck. Both of them sustained a chest traumatic injury.

“After a thorough check-up, a general diagnostic and evaluation of their condition were made. Virtually everyone worked,” the team said.

“It is necessary to check whether dangerous ammunition remained with the injured, to control the flow of information and radio operation,” they added.

In a routine situation, such injuries would demand an immediate surgery. In the case of Mascal, the doctors must take into account that other injured patients may be still brought in and some of them may need preferential surgeries.

“In a nick of time, an ambulance may bring in further patients, while the final number is five. There must be the immediate decision of who will be operated on preferentially and who must wait,” the doctors said.

The team has two places for surgeries in the room. The last surgery was finished at around 9:00, the doctors said.

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