When a patient visits FV Hospital’s Pain Clinic and is unable to pay for care, clinic head Dr Louis Brasseur pays out of pocket so they can undergo testing or imaging to reveal the source of their pain. On one occasion, he visited a cancer patient at home after learning that her illness was so severe that she could not walk.
Dr Louis Brasseur (centre) and his “successors” at the Pain Clinic, FV Hospital
Skilled at treating unusual pain
More than five years ago, Ms Le Nguyen Huyen Tran (District 7, Ho Chi Minh City) visited FV seeking diagnosis and care for a problem with her back muscles, which were always tense and painful. Almost unable to sleep, Tran had visited doctors at many healthcare centres but they were unable to treat her condition. On arrival at FV, Ms Tran was directed to the Pain Clinic. Here, the clinic’s head Dr Louis Brasseur examined and prescribed drugs combined with physical therapy to relax her muscle groups.
After a month, Ms Tran said that her body felt much looser and she had less pain. When FV imported a new generation of repeated transcranial magnetic stimulators (rTMS) to treat chronic pain patients, Ms. Tran was among the first to be treated with this method. Within a year, her persistent muscle spasms had almost disappeared completely and Ms Tran was enjoying a better quality of better life.
Dr Louis Brasseur examines a patient in pain at FV Hospital
When receiving each case, the Head of FV Hospital’s Pain Clinic takes the time to carefully study the patient’s medical history, level of pain and living habits. “It is the duty of the anaesthesiologist to explain to the patient the general cause of their pain and convince them to untie the links one by one,” says Dr Louis.
A mission to train the next generation
As a member of the next generation of pain specialists directly trained by Dr Louis, Dr Nguyen Nam Binh has special respect for her superior. The biggest thing she learned from him was his devotion to his patients.
In the first days of working at FV, Dr Nam Binh witnessed that Dr Louis Brasseur always acted quickly when a cancer patient complained of pain. Even at 9 p.m. when his shift was long over, Dr Louis would return to check whether a patient was comfortable. “When I first came to work at FV Hospital, I kept wondering how such a dedicated doctor could exist. When a cancer patients was unable to receive typical forms of pain relief right away, Dr Louis always found a way to quickly relieve their pain,” says Dr Nam Binh.
When a patient visits FV Hospital’s Pain Clinic and is unable to pay for care, clinic head Dr Louis Brasseur pays out of pocket so they can undergo testing or imaging to reveal the source of their pain. On one occasion, he even visited a cancer patient at home after learning that her illness was so severe that she could not walk.
Dr Louis is also dedicated to training the next generation of pain specialists as there are very few doctors specialised in this discipline in Vietnam. Most of the doctors working in this field have an anaesthesiology-resuscitation background or were trained at related departments. When finding the right staff, Dr Louis invests a great deal of time and energy training and supporting their development. He connects with leading experts in France and Switzerland, creating a pathway for his students to learn the most advanced pain treatment methods in the world. He also encourages young doctors to carry out scientific research projects or organise seminars to share their knowledge and experience of pain treatment.
After many years of working at FV, Dr Louis Brasseur set a goal for FV’s Pain Clinic: to become the leading intensive pain treatment centre in Vietnam to help patients be free of persistent pain so that they can enjoy a better quality of life.
Dr Louis Brasseur has made significant contributions to the world’s pain treatment industry
Dr Louis Brasseur was among the first doctors to participate in a study on using pain relievers in a new way, and persuaded health officials to extend the time that pain medication could be prescribed to patients. These contributions paved the way for the development of new pain treatment protocols, and in 1990, Dr Louis was invited to participate in a conference organised by the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva. He delivered comments on the WHO Guidelines for the Treatment of Pain in Cancer, which he participated in drafting.
In addition to treating cancer pain, Dr Louis Brasseur also participates in training courses on treating chronic pain and undertakes research on new pain relief techniques such as nerve blocks, transcranial magnetic stimulation, and implantation of intramedullary pumps.