Russia Has a Dead Body Shortage. Yes, Really

russia has a dead body shortage. yes, really

Doctors in training performing a medical intubation with a model/dummy on April 5, 2017 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. Russian doctors are reportedly having to travel overseas to get hands-on dissection experience due to a shortage of human cadavers.

Russian doctors are reportedly having to travel overseas to get hands-on dissection experience due to a shortage of human cadavers back home caused by sanctions imposed by the West in response to the war in Ukraine.

The Baza Telegram channel cited Aleksey Ivanov, the head of a private anatomical laboratory in Russia, as saying that doctors are being forced to travel to Armenia, Georgia, Turkey and Azerbaijan to attend courses to learn with cadavers—a key tool for anatomical education.

“Before the beginning of the [war], the shortage was dealt with with the help of the United States – the States supply cadavers for many countries, including Russia. However, after February 24, 2022, deliveries to our country ceased,” Baza reported on Wednesday.

Baza noted that not all countries supply cadavers. “for example, in Muslim countries or in India, any manipulations with corpses are prohibited.”

Ivanov told the news outlet that Russia has been unable to find new suppliers for about a year.

In November 2022, Maria Potemkina, head of a high-tech educational development team at the Pirogov Russian National Research Medical University in Moscow, told that doctors and medical students are being trained using virtual reality.

Potemkina described the method as “another educational technique.”

“Simulators created using VR technologies provide high reliability and the maximum effect of immersion in the real work of a doctor,” she said. “The student can assess the patient’s condition, including using instrumental research methods, and conduct treatment, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation.”

She added: “In my opinion, and in the opinion of experts, VR simulators are valuable because we can use them to safely [re]create life-threatening situations for both the doctor and the patient, which we cannot recreate during training.”

Russia was hit with a wave of international sanctions after President Vladimir Putin launched his full-scale invasion of Ukraine last February.

Keir Giles, a Russia expert and a senior consulting fellow at the Chatham House think tank, previously told Newsweek that many of the challenges the war presents to Russia, including sanctions imposed against the country, are not immediate, but will make themselves felt in the longer term.

“Sanctions will take time to bite and Russia can live off the fat of its foreign currency reserves for a certain period,” said Giles.

Do you have a tip on a world news story that Newsweek should be covering? Do you have a question about the Russia-Ukraine war? Let us know via [email protected].

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