War and Peace

Prof. Alexander Lerner, Head of the Orthopedic Department at Ziv Medical Center and a world renowned expert on complex war injuries, was invited to lecture to 1,500 surgeons and orthopedists, military medical faculty and military physicians at an international conference held in St. Petersburg, Russia.

The conference, Treatment of Serious Injuries During War or Peace, was initiated by Russia's leading scientific and medical organizations, including the Ministry of Health, the Russian Institute for Trauma Injuries, a veteran and renowned center for military medicine, and others.

Prof. Lerner's lecture addressed the modern orthopedic treatment of complex war injuries. He spoke of the medical experience acquired at Ziv in the treatment of trauma and trauma injuries over the last six years, during which wounded from the Syrian civil war received life-saving humanitarian treatment at Ziv. Professor Lerner described innovative and complex methods of treating these injuries, amongst the worst seen since World War II. The lecture was received very enthusiastically. The audience was interested both in the treatment of the wounded and the professional and ethical issues that arose during the period of humanitarian assistance to the citizens of the neighboring country, which is actually an enemy state.

Prof. Lerner dedicated his lecture to his father, Aharon Ben Salomon Lerner, who as an officer in the Red Army was wounded in the battles to liberate the three-year siege of Leningrad (St. Petersburg) in January 1944, to his brave friends and to the military physicians who saved his life and the lives of many others who fought against the Nazi regime. The audience, touched by his words, responded with enthusiastic applause.

During the two-day conference Prof. Lerner served as chairman of the panel that discussed the treatment of war wounded and delivered two further lectures on the subject of saving limbs after complex and difficult injuries. Prof. Lerner has published four books which have been translated into several languages and recommended as textbooks in the armies of Western countries and among teams dealing with victims of terror, war and natural disasters. He expressed the hope that the great interest generated by his lectures at the conference and the professional ties created during the conference will lead to significant cooperation in the future and a long-term relationship between Ziv Medical Center in Safed, the Azrieli Faculty of Medicine in the Galilee and the Academy of Military Medicine in St. Petersburg for joint research and the exchange of doctors and lecturers on life saving and limb preservation after severe combat injuries.