Dr Trinh Van Hai: An emergency care specialist, previously assigned to US and French Presidents, who always stands firm in a crisis

After twenty years of service to FV, Dr Hai has been selected as the Chairman of the Medical Advisory Board of FV Hospital.

After joining FV Hospital in 2003, Dr Trinh Van Hai, Head of the Accident & Emergency Department, has developed a reputation among his colleagues for his exceptional professional and medical ethics—qualities that were confirmed during the recent Covid-19 crisis.

Dr Trinh Van Hai, Head of Accident & Emergency Department, FV Hospital

Ready to dive into complex and emergency situations with composure

His colleagues in the Accident and Emergency (A&E) Department, one of the most high-pressure places in the hospital to work, often describe Dr Trinh Van Hai as the image of an “elder brother”. During the pandemic, Dr Hai and the A&E team had to cope with higher levels of stress as the number of patients arriving daily increased almost exponentially. Staff felt overwhelmed as the rate of serious illness and death they had to deal with remained consistently high for many months. Patients arrived in severe respiratory failure accompanied by frantic family members who were crying, screaming, and sometimes threatening to attack the medical staff. Staff recall that being at FV Hospital’s A&E Department at that time was like working in a furnace.

The Covid-19 outbreak placed FV Hospital’s Accident & Emergency Department under a lot of pressure

Dr Hai tackled every issue head-on, handling all patient issues and soothing the frustrations and worries of relatives during this turbulent period.

Difficulties piled up when medical and human resources became scarce in the midst of the epidemic. To ensure the Department had enough personnel to take care of emergency patients, Dr Hai had to go ward to ward in the hospital, asking for volunteers from the extended medical staff. In addition to his duties at the Emergency Department, Dr Hai also continues to actively participate in community vaccination campaigns, enthusiastically training staff and advising patients so as many vaccines can be administered as possible.

Dr Hai deals with issues during the Covid-19 epidemic

Someone meeting Dr Hai for the first time might mistake his quiet demeanour for standoffishness, but his close teammates will say that he projects the calmness of an emergency doctor who is always prepared to deal with any patient emergency that comes his way. What can be mistaken for a “cold” look belies a caring doctor doing mental calculations and designing protocols to promptly solve problems for patients in critical condition.

Whenever he speaks about the darkest days of the epidemic, Dr Hai sheds tears. “Many times I have had to see patients die in the car or in front of the Emergency Department door because resources were exhausted—we had no room to admit a single patient, there were no staff available, the ventilators were already in use… These images will forever haunt me. At that time, I felt powerless as a doctor,” Dr Hai recalls.

During the Covid-19 epidemic, Dr Hai ran point on receiving and handling problems as they arose

Solid support for his teammates

“What I admire most about Dr Hai is his ability to quickly diagnose and accurately treat emergency patients so that care can be delivered expediently by other specialties later, ensuring more patients can be saved,” says Dr Ho Minh Tuan, Head of the Covid-19 Treatment Department and Head of Cardiology at FV Hospital.

Dr Tuan explains that for Covid-19 patients presenting with myocardial infarction, diagnosing it is much more difficult than a typical heart attack case, yet it requires urgent treatment. Drawing on their solid experience and expertise, Dr Hai and his team identified myocardial infarction cases during Covid-19 quickly and accurately, intervening by stenting procedures that were precisely coordinated to save lives.

“During the most difficult times, Dr Hai was a bright light, always demonstrating his willingness to tackle any difficulty and never give up. I remember during many incidents when other staff, including me, were feeling close to losing our cool, Dr Hai always gave and followed precise medical instructions. He supported his teammates in remaining constant and confident, strengthening their resolve to overcome any challenge that arose,” recalls Dr Do Trong Khanh, Medical Director of FV Hospital.

Dr Khanh adds that, due to his professional ethics, expertise and two decades of experience, Dr Hai has been selected as the Chairman of the Medical Advisory Board of FV Hospital.

When asked what has motivated him to work under such pressure at FV’s A&E department for so many years, Dr Hai confides: “The environment at FV gives me a good feeling. I can apply my knowledge and see real meaning in my daily work. That’s what has made me stick around for so long.”

Twice on duty to provide medical assistance to the presidents of the United States and France

In 2016, FV Hospital was selected to provide medical support services during the visits of US President Barrack Obama and French President François Hollande’s to Ho Chi Minh City. Dr Hai and his colleagues from FV’s Accident and Emergency Department successfully completed this important task. For Dr Hai, this was an unforgettable moment of his career.