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COVID-19 fears lead patients to avoid critical treatment at Vietnam hospitals

COVID-19 fears lead patients to avoid critical treatment at Vietnam hospitals

Monday, June 07, 2021, 12:56 GMT+7
COVID-19 fears lead patients to avoid critical treatment at Vietnam hospitals
A nurse in protective gear tends to a patient at a hospital in Vietnam. Photo: Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre

As COVID-19 cases have been detected and treated at hospitals across Vietnam, many people are jeopardizing their health by avoiding hospital care, even in medical emergencies, for fear of contracting the coronavirus.

There are cases of patients who ended up suffering serious injuries or even death.

The latest example is the fatality of a patient with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in Hanoi on May 27 after he battled with the deterioration of the disease for more than a week at home.

According to the Hanoi Medical University Hospital, N.V.X., an 85-year-old patient in Thanh Xuan District with a history of chronic pulmonary heart disease, sought emergency treatment from the infirmary on May 26.

But it was too late for doctors to save him as he had refrained from going to hospital for ten days since first experiencing difficulty breathing, thinking that he may become infected with COVID-19 there.

Luckier than X., N.V.T., an 80-year-old patient in Ho Chi Minh City with pre-existing conditions of Type 2 diabetes and dyslipidemia, was timely rescued by doctors at Gia Dinh People’s Hospital after she had been hospitalized in a critical condition, with acute kidney and liver damage, due to her family’s delay in taking her to the hospital over similar fears of COVID-19.

At the end of May, Thu Duc City Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City also recorded two cases of patients with severe complications due to re-taking old prescription medications without going to hospital for help.

These patients were afraid of contracting the coronavirus at hospitals.

The aforementioned cases are not uncommon, according to Dr. Nguyen Thai Yen, deputy head of the cardiology department at Gia Dinh People’s Hospital.

Objecting to these COVID-19 fears, Dr. Yen said that non-coronavirus patients, especially the elderly with chronic diseases, are subject to periodical health checks, despite the pandemic situation.

Dr. Hoang Bui Hai, head of the intensive care unit at the Hanoi Medical University Hospital, emphasized that those with underlying diseases and abnormal symptoms such as increased shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain, sweating, and lack of coherence must receive timely emergency treatment.

Both Dr. Yen and Dr. Hai assured that hospitals have activated a thorough screening system to classify patients at risk for COVID-19 while ensuring timely support for patients in critical conditions.

Dr. Nguyen Lan Hieu, director of the Hanoi Medical University Hospital, advised that people contact doctors for their consultation before visiting hospitals to not only avoid the risk of COVID-19 infection but also to save time for both sides.

The Vietnamese Ministry of Health confirmed 44 new coronavirus cases on Monday morning, of which 24 were detected in Bac Giang Province, the largest epicenter in Vietnam now, 12 in Ho Chi Minh City, six in Bac Ninh Province, and two in Ha Nam Province.

The new cases have taken the Southeast Asian country’s tally of patients to 8,791, including 53 deaths, since early 2020.

Since April 27, when the pandemic’s fourth wave appeared in Vietnam, 5,666 domestic infections have been documented nationwide.

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