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British pilot shows cognitive improvement in Ho Chi Minh City hospital

Thursday, May 28, 2020, 15:02 GMT+7
British pilot shows cognitive improvement in Ho Chi Minh City hospital
A British pilot is treated at Cho Ray Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam in this photo supplied by the institution.

A British pilot with severe lung damage due to novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has shown cognitive improvement and is able to perform simple movements after doctors in Ho Chi Minh City took him off sedation.

The patient’s blood oxygen level and renal function have improved over the past two days.

As the Briton is no longer sedated, he is now able to move his extremities, although his diaphragm remains paralyzed and his limbs are still weak.

He previously underwent dialysis for 24 hours but is currently treated with medicine.

Despite the slight improvement, the patient still requires life support in the form of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).

Doctors will continue to focus on treating his lung infection and gradually lower his ECMO settings.

A chest CT scan is expected to be performed on the patient on Thursday to check whether his lungs have further healed.

Results last week showed that he had regained 30 percent of his lung capacity, up from 10 percent reported the week earlier, while the rest of his lungs had consolidated.

Doctors at Cho Ray will convene a meeting with experts from the Ministry of Health on Friday to further discuss his treatment plan.

The 43-year-old Briton, who works as a pilot for Vietnam Airlines, was diagnosed with COVID-19 in mid-March.

He had been treated at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Ho Chi Minh City until last week, when he was transferred to Cho Ray Hospital in the southern metropolis after testing negative for the novel coronavirus six times.

Doctors are currently treating his lung infection and making necessary preparations for a possible lung transplant.

The number of COVID-19 patients in Vietnam stands at 327, with 278 having recovered, according to the health ministry’s statistics. No deaths from the disease have been reported.

No new infections in the community have been documented in the Southeast Asian country for over 40 days.

The National Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion (NIHBT) confirmed on Wednesday it had completed temporary guidance on the collection of plasma from people who have beaten COVID-19.

The plasma will be used in research on the treatment of severe COVID-19 cases.

Eligible donors are those who have recovered from the disease for at least 28 days, according to the NIHBT.

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