FV Captains in COVID-19 Pandemic

These doctors represent FV’s COVID-19 medical team, which is always ready to confront difficulties to save patients as the pandemic continues to unfold. Responsible for administration, policy, external relations and disease prevention, as well as receiving, categorising and treating SARS-COV-2 cases, each person has an important role to play. FV’s COVID-19 medical team offers steadfast, invaluable support for patients, employees and the surrounding community. 

Dr Do Trong Khanh, FV’s Medical Director

We always try our best to not refuse any patients,” says Dr Do Trong Khanh – FV Hospital’s Medical Director stating his operating motto.

When COVID-19 cases began to spike significantly in Ho Chi Minh City, the situation brought many challenges, including dealing with overcrowding as patient hospitalisations ramped up, human resources shortages, and patients struggling with the unexpected financial burden of seeking treatment. The pandemic has created greater pressure on resources and medical ethics than ever before. However, through his personal efforts to closely monitor the hospital’s situation, as well as benefitting from close guidance from FV Hospital’s CEO – Dr Jean-Marcel Guillon, Dr Trong Khanh has helped the hospital, and particularly its medical team, overcome these difficulties, step-by-step.

Dr Khanh has shown empathy and leadership as he sought, encouraged, and followed up with individuals qualified to work at FV’s COVID-19 Department, calling on a team of young doctors to participate in offering round the clock care. Support from their colleagues has enabled staff to keep their energies and spirits up, even during those difficult times when the team was faced with many serious cases and even deaths.

During the period Dr Trong Khanh has spent fighting COVID-19 with the team, he stayed at the hospital for many days at a time, living in an empty hospital room or on a folding bed at the office so that he could focus on his work and support the team immediately whenever he was needed.

Dr Khanh has also worked to strengthen the hospital’s connections with local authorities and other medical facilities, such as the Department of Health of Ho Chi Minh City and Covid-19 Hospital No. 16 – Bach Mai Hospital, which has collaborated with FVH on multidisciplinary consultations and accepted many COVID-19 patients transferred there from FV so that they could receive timely treatment.

Dr Ho Minh Tuan, Head of FV’s Covid-19 Treatment Department & Head of Cardiology Department

FV’s Head of Cardiology, Ho Minh Tuan, MD, MSc., joined FV Hospital in 2021, making him one of the newest members of the medical team. Dr Tuan has adapted to the working environment at FV very quickly. His considerable expertise and management experience enable him to run the Cardiology Department extremely effectively. At the same time, Dr Tuan abilities meant that he was well positioned to take on the position of “captain” at the COVID-19 Treatment Department since August 2021.

Dr Tuan says that one of the hurdles for COVID-19 treatment is constantly staying updated on the international research, treatment guidelines and take care patients with full PPE during the time. Additionally, identifying difficulties and the legitimate requirements of all human resources working here for timely support are also big challenges.

The entire medical staff, me included, are feeling the strain at this time. However, we still try to do our best as we strive towards our common goal of saving more patients’ lives,” Dr Tuan explains, sharing the common motivation that bonds everyone at the COVID-19 Department.

Although this is an extremely busy period and Dr Tuan faces many difficulties while simultaneously treating COVID-19 patients and handling cardiovascular emergencies, his dynamism and sharp thinking helps FV’s team offer the best quality of treatment possible to patients in both departments.

Dr Trinh Van Hai, Head of FV’s Accident & Emergency (A&E) Department

During the period when the COVID-19 epidemic hit Ho Chi Minh City, the parallel reception of both patients who were likely infected with Covid-19 alongside those who likely were not but needed emergency care with limited resources has been one of the greatest challenges for Dr Trinh Van Hai, FV’s Head of A&E, to overcome. The number of medical staff has been limited and they cannot be split in half to serve two patient lines. There’s also often a lack of facilities and insufficient medical materials due to limited supply chain to respond to the sudden increase in the number of patients.

Dr Hai’s Department has been facing those problems for many weeks when the COVID-19 treatment facilities in Ho Chi Minh City were overloaded, with FV’s ultimately adapting the “split hospital” model to offer treatment for COVID-19 patients while also receiving other patients. Many COVID-19 patients with moderate and severe symptoms were brought to FV because they were not admitted at other healthcare centres. FV’s A&E Department had to make use of their limited resources to save these patients.

Gradually, the entire staff of the A&E Department, under Dr Hai’s instruction, adapted to this extremely difficult condition. Employees are now skilled at controlling the risk of infection while working, accepting the fact that the problem of being overloaded is inevitable during the peak of the epidemic and always prioritising the most practical solution to save the patient’s life. “The pandemic has caused so many damages to many people’s health and life, so we always encourage each other to try to help as many patients as possible,” Dr Hai says, sharing the motto of the A&E Department.

Dr Vu Truong Son – Head of FV’s Infection Control Unit (General Practitioner)

During the COVID-19 pandemic, as with any pandemic, actions to control infection risk, zone patients and staff, and stamp out cases are paramount and need to be implemented quickly and effectively. This requires the utmost concentration, expertise and extensive experience of the infection prevention team.

FV’s Infection Control Unit, under the leadership of Vu Truong Son, MD, MSc, has continuously updated and applied effective scientific methodologies to ensure safety, prevent infections among patients, relatives and medical staff, and share this knowledge with the community.

When the pandemic took hold in Ho Chi Minh City, the working hours of Dr Son and his team every day seemed never-ending, and nobody had a moment to rest. Training sessions were held daily. Guidance on epidemic prevention needed to be shared. Thousands of phone calls offering advice and continuous support needed to be made. Hundreds of new pieces of information and documents had to be constantly updated and disseminated around the entire hospital. A constant lack of resources placed everyone under extreme pressure for a long time.

“I was supported, trusted, doubted, and even criticised. But in the end, everyone trusted the infection prevention policies that our team persistently implemented. They made the hospital and everyone within it safer,” said Dr Son, who has spent many years working on infection control policies at FV.

Dr Son says that he has tried his best to do a good job at FV and helped many patients and staff, as well as had the opportunity to learn a lot from the CEO of the hospital, Dr Jean-Marcel Guillon, especially in moments of tough decision-making. As Dr Jean-Marcel Guillon once shared, Dr Vu Truong Son is an indispensable part of FV Hospital.