A British pilot, Vietnam’s most severe case of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), has made such impressive health improvements that doctors now believe he can be taken off a ventilator sooner than planned.
The Briton, who was identified as Vietnam’s COVID-19 patient No. 91, has continued to get better, according to the daily update of the Ministry of Health on Friday morning
The man is now able to eat 1.5 liters of liquid food a day, 0.5 liters more than the day before.
Doctors have started disconnecting him from his ventilator for breathing practice at intervals.
The machine is set on pressure support ventilation (PSV) mode at night to prepare him for ventilator withdrawal.
His quick improvement in only one week after he had been disconnected from extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) amazed his doctors, who had anticipated that it would take several weeks for him to wean himself off the ventilator and for his body movements to restore.
Doctors now expect that the patient can be freed from the ventilator sooner.
The 43-year-old Briton, a pilot for Vietnam Airlines, was diagnosed with COVID-19 in mid-March.
He was admitted to the Ho Chi Minh City Hospital for Tropical Diseases on March 18 with a damaged right lung.
He was on the verge of death many times and doctors once believed a lung transplant was the only viable option to save his life.
On May 22, he was transferred to Cho Ray Hospital after being declared free of COVID-19. He has been making a remarkable recovery since.
It was reported on Thursday that he was able to sit in a wheelchair to sunbathe daily with help from medical workers at Cho Ray.
Friday was the 85th day the man had been hospitalized in Vietnam for treatment.
Vietnam has reported 332 COVID-19 cases as of Friday morning — the 56th day of no infection case in the community, with 326 having recovered and no deaths reported, according to the Ministry of Health.
Only six patients, including the British pilot, remain in treatment at present.