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Covid-19: Vietnamese doctors and nurses on international missions

Rosie Nguyen Rosie Nguyen

ngtrang12.ftu@gmail.com

June 30, 2021 | 16:11

The team of Vietnamese doctors and nurses did not mind the hardships and dangers to wholeheartedly treat Covid-19 patients at home and abroad.

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Doctors from Vietnam and Laos prepare to consult emergency patients at Pholthong Hospital (Champasak province). (Photo: PV/Vietnam+)
Doctors from Vietnam and Laos prepare to consult emergency patients at Pholthong Hospital (Champasak province). Photo: VNP

Not only treating patients in their homeland, Vietnam's frontline doctors also perform international missions, supporting Laos in the fight against the "Covid-19 enemy."

Vietnamese healthcare worker in Laos: "Chase Covid-19 away"

Saving the life of a pregnant woman with severe SARS-CoV-2 infection

On the evening of May 13, a 31-year-old pregnant woman, 21 weeks pregnant, returned to Laos from Thailand in a state of severe respiratory failure. She gasped, her voice mumbling, clutching her stomach, worrying about her life and her baby. Quickly, she was taken to Pholthong Hospital Hospital (Champasak province).

Test results showed that she was positive for SARS-CoV-2. The doctors were full of anxiety when receiving this special patient.

A flood of phone calls were made.

Doctors of Bach Mai Hospital at Pholthong Hospital. (Photo: PV/Vietnam+)
Doctors of Bach Mai Hospital at Pholthong Hospital. Photo: VNP

Vuong Anh Duong, deputy director of the Department of Medical Examination and Treatment Administration (Ministry of Health), head of the delegation of Vietnamese medical experts in Laos said: At 8:30 p.m. on May 13, while the group was having dinner, it was reported that a pregnant woman with Covid-19 at Pholthong Hospital was in a very critical condition.

Immediately, a team of Vietnamese doctors-experts consisting of 5 people: an intensive care physician, an emergency doctor, a technician, an infection control officer and a nurse set off to the hospital to work through the night.

At that time, the pregnant woman was in a state of respiratory failure, tired and weak. The shortness of breath gradually increases, the oxygen concentration in the patient's blood gradually decreases, which is acceptable for the mother, but will affect the fetus. Meanwhile, doctors at the hospital have not yet found a way to handle the above pregnant woman.

The resuscitation and emergency doctors of Vietnam and Laos consulted to evaluate the most optimal plan for how to keep the fetus.

According to doctor Tu Anh, if the above case were in Vietnam, everything would be easier, but in the context of Pholthong Hospital, it is difficult when this is only a district hospital, the facilities are very poor. This hospital does not yet have a specialized resuscitation department.

Vietnamese emergency experts surveyed about first aid and resuscitation in Laos. Photo: VNP
Vietnamese emergency experts surveyed about first aid and resuscitation in Laos. Photo: VNP

In the following days, the delegation of Lao doctors and Vietnamese experts continuously exchanged and sent text messages by phone to advise and treat the patient. The patient gradually passed the critical crisis and stabilized.

The 31-year-old woman on the day of discharge from the hospital. Photo: VNP
The 31-year-old woman on the day of discharge from the hospital. Photo: VNP

Thanks to that, after only 3-4 days, the pregnant patient gradually did not need a ventilator and returned to normal activities.

“The feeling of saving both mother and child is indescribable. After the anxiety comes the thrill and joy. More specifically, when the delegation finished their working trip in Laos, during a 21-day quarantine in Ha Tinh, they received news that the pregnant woman was healthy. At that time, the whole team was excited by the fact that the initial treatment facility was almost unresponsive and the skills of the on-site doctors were still limited because the Covid-19 emergency expertise was different from usual," said Doctor Vu Tuong Lan - A9 Emergency Center (Bach Mai Hospital).

Together with Laos against Covid-19

Talking about this business trip, the representative of the expert delegation said that after a year without detecting any Covid-19 cases in the community, the pandemic situation in Laos suddenly heated up with a sudden increase in the number of cases since the end of April 2021.

This is the biggest Covid outbreak in Laos since the start of the pandemic. The outbreak has shown that the initial outbreaks of the pandemic were in bars, massage areas, karaoke or entertainment venues, and now have spread to markets, supermarkets, offices, and places of social activities.

The Lao Ministry of Health determined that the blockade of the capital Vientiane and a number of provinces, along with a ban on leaving the place of residence for Laotians is the first key in zoning and stamping out the pandemic. Lao authorities at all levels focus their efforts to treating patients, which will be immunization according to the plan to increase the rate of herd immunity to the highest possible level.

Lao leaders welcome a delegation of Vietnamese medical experts to fight against the COVID-19 epidemic. (Photo: PV/Vietnam+)
Lao leaders welcome a delegation of Vietnamese medical experts to fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. Photo: VNP

After an online exchange between Minister Nguyen Thanh Long and the Lao Minister of Health on April 29, 2021, the Lao Ministry of Health sent a letter to the Minister of Health of Vietnam on May 2, 2021 notifying the need for Vietnamese medical experts to assist in the second wave of outbreaks in this country.

Afterwards, a special working group was established.

On May 9, 2021, the Minister of Health issued a decision on sending civil servants and public employees to work abroad, with assigned tasks of "Supporting Laos in the construction of a field hospital, treatment, testing and tracing to help Laos cope with the Covid-19 pandemic."

The 18-member mission team are specialists in intensive care, nursing care, cardiologists, infectious diseases, infection control, epidemiologists, testing and environmental sanitation specialists.

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Rosie Nguyen