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Children contracting respiratory diseases flood hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City

Thursday, July 28, 2016, 18:45 GMT+7
Children contracting respiratory diseases flood hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City
Five children rest on a bed at Children’s Hospital 1 in Ho Chi Minh City.

Pediatric patients of respiratory diseases have packed hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City while doctors are concerned about the large number of kids infected at the beginning of this year’s outbreak.

A rapidly increasing number of young children have been admitted to Children’s Hospital 1 in the southern city to receive treatment for their respiratory illness.

According to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reporters’ observation on Wednesday, the infirmary was still filled with patients despite the efforts of doctors from the respiratory department and two other wards.

Only children in the emergency rooms were placed on separate beds while other kids in common ailment stages were given a limited number of berths.

With only 100 beds, the respiratory department of the hospital sometimes receives up to 464 patients a day, double the average number on a regular day.

In room 305, about four to six infants, two to three months old, were placed in a single bed while parents who failed to snatch a spot for their kids had to let them rest in the hallway.

Phuc, 60, who was looking after her grandchildren infected with pneumonia, said she had not been able to take a rest during their four days at the hospital.

One reason for the patient crowding at Children’s Hospital 1 is that it is a place preferred by not only parents from Ho Chi Minh City but also those from other provinces and cities in the south when it comes to treating their children’s sickness.

Tran Anh Tuan, head of the respiratory department at the facility, expressed his concern over the growing number of young patients, stating that now is just the beginning of this year’s respiratory epidemic.

After multiple kids showing milder symptoms were transferred to the ward of general internal medicine, about 398 patients were still in the respiratory department on Tuesday, suffering such illnesses as pneumonia, bronchitis, and asthma.

Aside from the weather, which is the primary cause of the diseases, other factors, namely a rise in population, favorable transportation, and low credibility of local-level medical centers, have caused an overload of sick children at the hospital, Dr. Tuan said.

Patient records at the infirmary showed that 60 percent of them are from places neighboring Ho Chi Minh City, he added.

According to Huynh Minh Thu, an official at Children’s Hospital 2, a similar situation is also recorded at the facility with about 388 children being admitted there on Wednesday.

There has also been a rise in the number of diarrhea and dengue fever cases at the hospital, Thu added.

Prevention

Initial symptoms of respiratory diseases often include coughing, accompanied by fever and rhinorrhea.

Seventy percent of the patients will recover while the rest will suffer more sever conditions as their illness develops into pneumonia, bronchitis, bronchiolitis, among others.

Recent research showed that pneumonia and bronchiolitis in young kids could develop into asthma with the probability of 50 percent.

It is recommended that parents keep their children warm and away from the direct impacts of rain and breezes.

Electric fans should be adjusted to a moderate level while air-conditioned rooms should be maintained at 27 degrees Celsius.

Kids should be provided with a healthy and sufficient diet containing lots of greens, fruits, and vitamins to enhance their immune system.

Pneumococcal vaccination has also been proven to help lower the chance of pneumonia in children.

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