The young doctor candidate from Üsküdar rushed to help earthquake victims!

Üsküdar University Faculty of Medicine 3rd year student Elif Petek Kızıltepe  went from Istanbul to the earthquake zone right after the earthquake in her hometown of Kahramanmaraş. Kızıltepe, who was transferred to the disaster area with the AFAD team, helped the earthquake victims in the field and in the hospital. Kızıltepe, who worked with doctors at the hospital where her mother served as a nurse, shared her experiences after the earthquake.

“Being a medical student accelerated the process”

Expressing that she could not hear from her family in the first hours of the earthquake, Kızıltepe said that they tried to reach Kahramanmaraş as soon as possible, but the plane tickets were sold out.

Kızıltepe; “After receiving the news of the earthquake around 04.30, we could not get any clear news from our friends and families from Kahramanmaraş. For this reason, we started to look for ways to quickly go to other earthquake regions and Maraş. The plane tickets were sold out, and my friend Vahit, whom I had just met from the same class, helped a lot by giving information about the volunteer planes that would go to the region. We waited at the airport for about 8 hours to get on the plane. When I said that I was a medical student, they tried to help faster. At the end of the eighth hour, we were able to board the plane.”.

“There was air traffic due to the earthquake, we could not land for a long time”

Expressing that the Istanbul - Kahramanmaraş flight takes approximately 1 and a half hours under normal conditions, however they could not land for a long time due to the air traffic after the earthquake and Kızıltepe said “After the earthquake, there was air traffic due to the intensity of the flights, and we had to wait in the air for a while because there was no place to land on the runway due to the intensity. Then, due to the fuel problem, we first landed in Elazığ and then came to Kahramanmaraş. It was around two o'clock in the morning when we arrived. I came with the plane of AFAD volunteers. We stayed at AFAD Headquarters that night, a group gathered again at around 7-8 in the morning and they tried to arrange a car for us to go to the debris site. Then, we went to the wreckage areas. Since we did not have the equipment to do medical treatment, we tried to find a place where we could help more by hitchhiking, as we know the city well.”.

“We provided first aid to patients who could not reach the hospital with the advice of my professors”

Stating that they participated in first aid activities in various hospitals as medical faculty students in the following days, Kızıltepe stated that they continued their first aid and aid activities in the earthquake area. Kızıltepe said; “On the first day, we went to Kahramanmaraş Metropolitan Municipality General Directorate of Water and Sewerage Administration (KASKİ). There were two patients here, one was slightly injured in his hands, and the other was a child with a head injury. For the treatment of this patient, I met with Ayhan Professor from Üsküdar University Faculty of Medicine, I sent the patient's photos and we formed a group of doctors for treatment planning. After receiving the recommendations of various doctors, we tried to procure the drugs. We started his treatment and then transferred him to a suitable hospital.”.

“They provided the communication between the healthcare team and the patient who came to the support from abroad”

Stating that they reached the hospitals after carrying out first aid activities in various regions and wanted to support them, Kızıltepe pointed out that while they were intervening with the patients, on the other hand, they provided communication between the patients and employees with the healthcare teams coming from abroad.

Kızıltepe talked about her experiences after the earthquake and said: “We went to Yörük Selim Public Hospital, where my mother served as a nurse, to find out if we were needed. There was not much need for help in terms of health in hospitals because there were too many foreign medical teams. However, they asked us to stay to give support after meeting with the hospital management. Ms. Öznur, Cardiovascular Surgery Specialist, who works at the hospital and provides the coordination, asked us to support her. For about 4-5 days, we tried to help Israeli soldiers communicate with patients and doctors. As of yesterday morning, the Israeli team returned to their countries, and we continue to support them in the hospital.”

Üsküdar News Agency (ÜNA)