Helping surgeons in Ukraine: For one 3Mer, failure was not an option
Mar 15, 2022

Dr. Christian Seelandt had an urgent message on his phone.

It was from a group of surgeons in Ukraine.  

Christian is usually the one making calls and connecting with medical professionals for his role as 3M’s medical science liaison for the central Europe region. 

The message came from surgeons who were treating the wounded in the Ukraine-Russia conflict. They were asking for much-needed medical equipment and knew Christian worked for 3M. 

Christian immediately understood the seriousness of the request. 

“I just sat there with my phone in my hand,” he said. “It feels like you are staring a hole into the air in front of you.

“I told them I would help, and I knew failure was not an option.”

The request was for negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) devices.

“They need these devices to help people heal after gunshot wounds or explosion-related injuries,” he said. 

Christian began making calls to his management team to line up support.  

“I’ve never done anything like this before,” he said. “I don’t even remember how many people I talked to. It felt like one hundred.”

At the same time, a professional contact who was working at a nearby university reached out and said he received a similar request from Ukrainian surgeons.

“He told me his university could help arrange transportation of our 3M supplies to Ukraine,” said Christian. 

Within days, trucks were loaded up with 200 units of NPWT and other surgical supplies. 

“When we talk about 200 units, you have to think of it as 200 legs, 200 arms or even 200 lives that are potentially being saved,” he said. 

Christian was pleased to let the Ukrainian surgeons know that the supplies were on the way. 

“This goes beyond my role or my job,” he said. “We have an obligation to help. We have to help. Full stop.”

Christian does see his role at 3M – and perhaps more importantly, his place at 3M – differently now. 

“I’ve never been prouder to be a part of this company than I am right now,” he said. “It’s fantastic to have such a great company behind me, making a big impact in such a quick way.

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