War Surgery: the Congo Experience of Carlos Ferreira presented at Hospital da Luz

Carlos Ferreira, surgeon at Hospital da Luz, presented this weekend to the hospital’s professionals the results of his last war surgery mission, integrating a team of Red Cross International (CVI – Cruz Vermelha Internacional) in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Carlos Ferreira spent four weeks at the city of Goma, one of the most violent cities in the world, where he led the only war surgery team operating at the local hospital. With him, there were a French anaesthesiologist and a Canadian surgical nurse. «We operated more than 120 patients, at an average rate of six or seven per day. It was an intense and hard work, without rest. We never stopped!», recalls Carlos Ferreira.

The surgical team led by Carlos Ferreira was mainly dedicated to the war-wounded. «We operated only shot-wounded people. Adults and children, with very serious injuries...» Nevertheless, he says, «we managed to save practically all. Only one patient died in all that time». The most severe cases, he describes, had to do with bullet-wounds in the face, «really intended to rip up people’s faces. Very bad situations, very violent!», he comments.

Although Goma was a city at war, «where urban tribal violence was also very aggressive», Carlos Ferreira states that he had less fear than in his previous mission with International Red Cross in South Sudan. «The experience counts!», he justifies.

On Saturday, January 16, the surgeon made a presentation at Hospital da Luz destined to the hospital’s nurses, showing more than 500 images of the cases he intervened in and reporting his experience as war surgeon.