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Health of British COVID-19 patient continues to improve during treatment in Ho Chi Minh City

Monday, June 01, 2020, 18:09 GMT+7
Health of British COVID-19 patient continues to improve during treatment in Ho Chi Minh City
Doctors talk to the British pilot, Vietnam’s COVID-19 patient No. 91, who is being treated in the intensive care unit at Cho Ray Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, in this supplied photo.

A British pilot who has been seriously ill with novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues to exhibit more positive signs during his treatment in Ho Chi Minh City.

The Briton now has stronger cough reflex and increased muscle strength, the National Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control announced on Monday morning.

He is now able to slightly move his diaphragm, after the result of an examination last week showed that the muscle was paralyzed. 

The oxygen level in the patient’s lungs has improved, but pulmonary ventilation has remained largely unchanged as his respiratory muscles are still weak and he suffers from sedative and opioid withdrawal syndrome.

The patient is relying on life support in the form of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).

However, doctors are lowering his ECMO blood flow setting from 3.7 liters per minute to 2.5 liters per minute.

The patient has stopped undergoing dialysis since May 27 because his renal function has improved.

Doctors have switched to a different type of antibiotics to treat his complicated lung infections.

The Briton is now fed via his gastrointestinal tract and veins at 30 millimeters per hour and is given physical therapy twice a day.

The 43-year-old Briton, a Vietnam Airlines pilot, was identified as the country’s patient No. 91 after his COVID-19 diagnosis in mid-March.

He was recently transferred to Cho Ray Hospital, the largest general hospital in Ho Chi Minh City, from the municipal Hospital for Tropical Diseases after being announced free of the coronavirus.

Doctors from the infirmary confirmed on Friday the patient had regained 40 percent of his lung function, up from 30 percent and 10 percent reported in the previous two consultations. 

If his lungs continue to improve, with 50 percent or more of their function recovering, he will have a chance to survive without a lung transplant, which was previously believed to be the only viable way to save his life.

Vietnam’s COVID-19 case tally is currently at 328, with 293 having recovered. No deaths from the disease have been recorded in the country.

The Ministry of Health confirmed on Monday that no community infections have been documented in the past 46 days.

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