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Elbrus climbers received first medical aid on time, says health ministry

Minister of Health of Kabardino-Balkaria Rustam Kalibatov stressed that the climbers had received necessary medical care in full

NALCHIK, September 24./TASS/. Medical assistance to the climbers injured on Mount Elbrus on Thursday was provided timely and correctly, Minister of Health of Kabardino-Balkaria Rustam Kalibatov told Rossiya-24 TV channel on Friday.

They were diagnosed timely and received medical care in full, the minister said. "I can say that not a single minute was wasted in the response and in the hospital itself," Kalibatov added.

He said that medics acted in accordance with tried-and-tested plans for providing medical assistance during emergency situations in the mountains. According to Kalibatov, practically all injured climbers have freeze burns that necessitate stage-by-stage treatment.

If these are third or fourth category frostbites, a long treatment will be needed. As to the first or second category - the climbers will be discharged from hospital shortly to continue outpatient medical treatment, he added.

A group of 19 climbers, who at an altitude of 5,400 meters in Elbrus, requested help after the weather worsened on the mountain on September 23. The group initially consisted of 23 people, but four of them refused to embark on the endeavor. The climbers had registered their route in advance with the Russian Emergencies Ministry. Fourteen were taken down from the mountain and received medical attention, and 11 of them have been hospitalized. Five people lost their lives.