Recently, a Filipino crew member suffered acute appendicitis while on-board the ship, Northern Endeavour (Tuvalu) as it passed through Ba Ria – Vung Tau. On 1st Feb 2021, the patient was taken to Tan Son Nhat Airport by emergency helicopter and treated at FV Hospital. All the receiving, examination and treatment of the patient were given in accordance with COVID-19 screening and prevention process.
Specifically, on the journey to Thai Lan, the ship Northern Endeavour was passing through Ba Ria – Vung Tau. At that time, Mr E.J.L (a crew member born in 1990, Philippines) had fever and severe abdominal pain which required the immediate emergency aid. The Captain contacted the Maritime Agent in Ba Ria – Vung Tau to carry out procedures for bringing patient to the land for treatment by helicopter. The Quarantine Agency at Ba Ria – Vung Tau contacted to FV Hospital to request treatment for the crew member. Faced with the urgent life threatening situation of the patient, the Covid-19 Prevention Committee of FV Hospital urgently discussed and agreed to receive the patient as well as provided specialised guidance to help the crew relieve his pain and provide antibiotic treatment for patient.
On the afternoon of 1st Feb 2021 an emergency helicopter was dispatched from Vung Tau Airport and collected the patient from the ship, the patient was then taken to Tan San Nhat Airport where the FV Emergency Ambulance Team was waiting. All medical staff were fully protected with safety equipment and followed the Ministry of Health disinfection process to receive patients with high-risk of Covid-19 entry of the. At 17:00, the patient was admitted to FV Emergency Department and was immediately taken to a negative pressure room for isolation and medical care for examination by Dr Phan Van Thai – Head of General Surgery. Investigation by CT scan, showed the patient had an localised peritonitis due to inflammation and rupture of the appendix. That evening, the patient was taken to an operating room with negative pressure appropriate for surgery of patients with a high-risk of COVID-19. Dr Thai and his team performed anaesthesia and used the endoscopic method to perform the appendectomy. The operation ended successfully after 1 hour and the patient was admitted to a negative pressure room in the Intensive Care Ward to avoid risk of cross infection. The patient is stable and alert. The 1st Covid-19 testing result indicated Mr E.J.L was negative, however, to ensure the prevention of any possible infection, the patient will remain quarantined and tested for Covid-19 in the hospital isolation ward following the immigration quarantine procedure. Dr Do Trong Khanh – Medical Director of FV Hospital shared: “Although this is a case with Covid-19 risk, FV Hospital still decided to receive the patient because we know that it was the best thing to do to save the life of patient at that time. We have the facilities as well as equipment and experience to handle surgical procedures. Moreover, we are confident with the infection prevention process and can isolate high risk cases. In addition, all the doctors and staff of FV Hospital are trained carefully and mastered in the isolation and infection prevention process for all infectious diseases, especially Covid-19”.
According to Dr Khanh, FV Hospital has a series of negative pressure rooms that meet the standards of isolation for infectious diseases. It is applied from the Emergency Department to ICU. FV Hospital has also a dedicated operating room with a negative pressure ready for emergency surgery in patients with suspected or infected Covid-19 infection. Moreover, FV Hospital has a large number of protective personal equipment for medical staff and patients.
Dr Vu Truong Son – Head of FV Infection Control Unit added: “In the past, FV Hospital also handled surgery to treat the diseases and quarantined a few suspected Covid-19 cases in our negative pressure rooms. The continuous coordination with offshore emergency units, international medical quarantine and the readiness of FV Hospital team are the prerequisites for successful implementation of urgent medical tasks in these difficult epidemic conditions”.
On April 3rd 2020, The Ministry of Health officially approved FV Hospital was the first non-public hospital in Vietnam to provide testing and test results for SARS-CoV-2. FV Hospital’s Laboratory and Blood Bank applies modern RT-PCR technique to provide highly accurate results with few hours. All screening, sample and testing procedures strictly follow the WHO, CDC and Ministry of Health Biosafety regulation to ensure safety for patients, staff and the community at large.