The first Caesarian section performed by the Israeli team in the “Shining Star” field hospital in Ukraine received a dramatic turnaround when the newly born infant started to turn blue and needed urgent life-saving attention.

The operation was performed in a hospital next to the field hospital, a very old facility without optimal treatment conditions and with only old equipment. The medical team of Shining Star which included gynecologist Dr. Hadas Ilan and midwife Dana Shenkel from Sheba and Dr. Eran Mashiah and Yosefit Moshe from Schneider Children’s, joined the surgery while Schneider’s team prepared to receive and provide initial standard care to the newborn.

Immediately following the birth, the staff placed the infant on the father’s chest according to local tradition, and to his surprise, he noticed the infant turning deep blue. Dr. Mashiah and nurse Moshe reacted at once and transferred the infant to the resuscitation station where they performed several procedures including ventilation with an ambu bag (a handheld tool that delivers positive pressure ventilation), opening the airways and administering oxygen and fluids. After about three minutes of severe tension, to everyone’s huge relief, the infant recovered and began to cry.

Dr. Mashiah said that “there is no doubt that this was one of the most exciting and special moments that I will take with me from this mission. We did not anticipate any complication with the surgery and these were difficult minutes of anxiety and uncertainty for all of us. We are happy that we were able to help and provide an instant response that allowed the new and concerned father to receive his son in good health and to give him to his mother for the first time.”

Over a period of two weeks, together with his 8 colleagues from Schneider Children’s, Dr. Mashiah treated hundreds of children in the Shining Star field hospital set up by Israel in Mostyska in western Ukraine.