On August 12, Mr V.V. Tin’s family brought him to FV Hospital, when his symptoms—a cough, fever, and difficulty breathing—had already persisted for seven days. His COVID-19 antigen rapid test result was positive, and Mr Tin was temporarily isolated in a negative pressure room at FV’s Accident & Emergency Department. While awaiting his RT-PCR result, Mr Tin received nasopharyngeal oxygen therapy (4 litres/min) as his peripheral blood oxygen saturation (SpO2) had decreased to 91 per cent and his blood pressure was elevated to 168/59 mmHg. Mr Tin’s RT-PCR result, received the same day, was also positive.
When planning Mr Tin’s treatment, FV doctors predicted that this could be a serious case as the patient was elderly and already being treated for several chronic diseases, including high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and osteoarthritis. However, following admission and the initial steps of his treatment, Mr Tin’s condition was still relatively good. Mr V. K. Dong, Mr. Tin’s son, shared: “I was very worried, but the doctor explained that my dad’s condition was stable, and I also understood that the wards were currently overwhelmed, so I tried to remain calm and wait for him to be hospitalised.”
CT scan results later revealed that Mr Tin had also developed pneumonia due to COVID-19. Fortunately, the patient’s SpO2 returned to a stable level (98%), so the patient could breathe normally. Dr Tran Nhu Tuong Van, a senior physician at FV’s Department of Internal Medicine who attended Mr Tin, said that in addition to appointing anti-inflammatory and anticoagulant drugs according to FV’s current protocol, his patient also had to take antibiotics because of signs of infection (PCT level 0.98) and electrolytes when his sodium and calcium levels declined.
When senior patients are admitted they usually receive lots of attention, encouragement and care from their loved ones. Now that visitors to the hospital must be restricted due to the pandemic, Mr Dong volunteered to stay in the ward to watch over Mr Tin, as well as be ready to assist doctors in monitoring neighbouring patients. “I am also F0 but have no symptoms, so I want to stay to fulfil my duty as a son and as extra support for the doctors and nurses here,” Mr Dong explains.
As Mr Tin has always received health checks and care for his chronic diseases at FV with Dr Van, developing Mr Tin’s COVID-19 treatment while stabilising his other conditions was not too difficult.
Additionally, support from his family also played an important role in helping this 86-year-old patient respond well to the treatment. Dr Van shared: “Luckily, the patient was taken to the hospital and treated in time. For F0 patients, care and support from loved ones are essential.”
Mr V.V. Tin and his son on the day of discharge after 11 days of treatment at the COVID-19 Treatment Department, FV Hospital
On August 23, after 11 days of treatment, Mr Tin (as well as his son) had negative RT-PCR test results for SARS-COV-2. Mr Tin’s vital signs, including temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, and blood oxygen saturation, had all returned to stable levels. His doctors allowed Mr Tin to be discharged from the hospital so that he could quarantine at home, in accordance with Ministry of Health guidelines.
Mr Tin’s family received other good news: all family members who had been infected and treated for COVID-19 had recovered and returned home. Illness does not discriminate, but affects people of all ages and genders. Therefore, when facing an exposure, everyone needs to keep the same spirit and determination. Thank you, Mr V.V. Tin and his family for creating a source of encouragement for all medical staff and F0 patients at FV Hospital, so that everyone can continue to have the strength to fight the COVID-19 and weather the pandemic.