At the start of July 2021, FV Hospital began to convert the function of the inpatient ward at the Internal Medicine Department into a COVID-19 treatment area, following the “split hospital” model. FV strongly mobilised human resources and invested heavily in equipment, machinery, and infrastructure to meet the treatment needs of COVID-19 patients. Prior, the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) was also divided into two, with five beds for the treatment of F0 patients having severe complications. The Accident & Emergency (A&E) Department has also been rearranged to accommodate the ongoing situation.
Patients are received and screened based on their condition
In addition to maintaining emergency operations for other diseases, the A&E Department has set up a separate area to receive Covid-19 patients. Accordingly, all patients are screened for SARS-COV-2 via a rapid antigen test. Patients with high risk factors for infection must be isolated in a separate area where additional RT-PCR testing is performed to confirm the result. After identifying that the patient is positive for SARS-COV-2, depending on the patient’s physical condition, the RT-PCR test cycle threshold value (which reveals the patient’s viral load) and the capacity of the inpatient treatment area, the A&E Department will categorise patients into different groups and handle them respectively. Patients who have mild symptoms and do not need oxygen support will be instructed to go home to self-quarantine. Additionally, the patient can register to use FV COVID-19 Telemedicine Service for ongoing support via video chat. Patients with moderate and severe symptoms will be initially treated at A&E and then transferred to the inpatient ward if there are beds available, or FV will try to provide temporary emergency treatment and support for a hospital transfer.
Evidence-based treatment and multi-disciplinary consultation
The COVID-19 Treatment Department at FV comprises 63 normal care beds, 11 ventilator beds and 15 High Flow Oxygen Therapy (HFNC) systems. The treatment area is also divided into two areas: one for patients with moderate symptoms and one dedicated to treating patients with severe complications. Inside each area, clean zones are also set up so that medical staff can work in safe conditions.
Speaking to the COVID-19 treatment model currently being implemented at FV Hospital, FV’s Medical Director Do Trong Khanh, MD, PhD, affirmed: “Despite being deployed in a short time, FV has developed a comprehensive COVID-19 treatment model in order to flexibly receive patients at different level of severity. The model helps to both ensure safe working conditions for staff and increase the success rate of treatment for critically ill patients.”
FV’s COVID-19 Treatment Department, led by Dr Ho Minh Tuan (who heads this department while also fulfilling his role a Head of Cardiology), includes 20 doctors from many different specialties. Dr Ho Minh Tuan said: “Currently, we are applying a treatment and drug regimen according to international guidelines, especially those used in the US and Europe, and applying updated guidelines issued by Vietnamese health authorities. The overall goal is to bring the highest treatment effectiveness to patients with SARS-COV-2.” In addition to streaming patients with different symptoms, doctors will also conduct multi-disciplinary consultations to develop holistic treatment plans for COVID-19 combined with the management of chronic diseases to achieve optimal outcomes for each F0 patient.
The condition of F0 patients usually gets worse around 10 days after the first symptoms of illness appear. After this time, the patient must be monitored and treated until their symptoms are reduced to a mild level and recovered. Finally, doctors will decide when to discharge a patient according to FV’s discharge criteria, international guidelines, and the clinical prognosis of disease progression. During the treatment process, in addition to medical care, patients will be supported by nutritionists, psychologists and physiotherapists who will work together to help patients benefit from the highest treatment efficiency possible so that they can recover quickly. Every day, doctors also dedicate time to connect with the patient’s family members to update them on the situation, explaining the patient’s condition in detail.
For those patients who are able to actively isolate at home, FV Hospital has deployed a COVID-19 Telemedicine Service to support the through treatment and recovery. The service will provide devices and daily consultations during each patient’s 12-day quarantine at home, under the advice of a team of specialised doctors led by Head of Otolaryngology, Vo Cong Minh, MD, PhD.
FV Hospital has been developing its plan for an effective COVID-19 treatment system for more than a year, leveraging a large amount of both human and financial resources. FV is not only participating in the fight against the pandemic based on the “split hospital” model, per the call of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health, but also to provide a reliable quality of COVID-19 treatment for all patients.