Monday, November 20 2017

VietNamNews

Island doctors get good experience

Update: December, 17/2016 - 09:00
Doctor and Captain Lê Ngọc Trọng (left), who currently heads the Bạch Long Vĩ Military and Civilian Infirmary, treats a fisherman’s eye injury. - VNA/VNS Photo Hoàng Dương
Viet Nam News

Young doctors who work at a hospital on an island in the Gulf of Tonkin have amazing experiences.

The hospitals are not like hospitals in the cities where many different diseases can be treated.

With not much, doctors often need to look after sick people in whatever way they can.

To do this they often need to think very quickly and work very well, which means that they will go on to become very good doctors.

Hoàng Dương

HẢI PHÒNG – Bạch Long Vĩ is Việt Nam’s remotest island in the Gulf of Tonkin.

This spells daunting hardship, especially for doctors and other medical staff stationed there, which means they are constantly challenged to think and act outside the box.

These physicians have become living testament of the perseverance and an undying zeal to serve the people, even when it seems odds are stacked wholly against them.

Every year, the General Hospital on Bạch Long Vĩ Island provides care and treatment for some 3,000 patients, with many cases requiring state-of-the-art facilities that are not available in the remote area.

The hospital is headed by Dr. Nguyễn Đức Quân, a native of the northern port city of Hải Phòng who took up his job on the island soon after he finished his medical training.

“For me, living on the island, serving the people, and pursuing my medical profession are meaningful, fulfilling ways to spend my youth,” said the doctor, in his thirties now.

“Although the serious lack of necessary facilities poses myriad difficulties, the hospital’s doctors and staff consider this a challenge to better themselves,” Dr Quân said.

On a remote island, circumstances have certainly generated opportunities for the medical staff to “better themselves.”

Dr Quân can recall in detail every instance that he and his colleagues have had to take tough decisions in emergency situations.

One time, during a tropical storm, a pregnant woman was admitted to the hospital, her condition critical with severe bleeding and acute abdominal pain.

She was diagnosed with ruptured ectopic pregnancy (which occurs when an embryo develops outside of the uterus), and the only feasible treatment was to carry out a hemostatic surgery to stop the bleeding.

“Cases like this are transferred inland for treatment. With the limited equipment we have on the island, saving the patient is nearly impossible. However, a storm was raging, with level 8-9 gusts of wind and huge waves. In that moment of life and death, after requesting directions from higher-ups, we decided to operate.”

Fortunately, the surgery was a success and the patient pulled through. It was the most difficult surgery performed on the island, and a remarkable achievement the doctors and islanders are proud of.

Quân said the General Hospital was building a blood bank to ensure a stable supply of the essential fluid, since blood loss and lack of oxygen are two leading causes of death on the island.

In fact, the doctors and medical staff themselves are generous blood donors.

Last August, fisherman Nguyễn Văn Thiết had three quarters of his arm severed, resulting in grave blood loss. The hospital decided to directly transfuse blood from a nurse midwife, Nguyễn Thị Hương, timely saving his life.

The Ministry of Health (MoH) has recognised this as among the first direct transfusions conducted in an island hospital in Việt Nam.

Quân said the hospital established several specialised units like its paediatric and maternity ward, which will become separate departments. Preventive medicine teams and medical task forces had also been created to provide care for islanders on their boats when needed, and to launch awareness campaigns.

“The hospital provides treatment for all patients, ranging from simple diseases to highly complicated cases,” Quân said.

“It’s seldom that we transport patients inland since the long journey on the sea can negatively impact the patient’s health, even endanger their lives. Besides, people here cannot afford the high cost of transportation. Hence our constant endeavour is to provide proper treatment on the island itself,” he added.

Like Dr Quân, Doctor and Captain Lê Ngọc Trọng, who currently heads the Bạch Long Vĩ Military and Civilian Infirmary, has made the island his home.

In the infirmary’s emergency room, Dr Trọng was disinfecting and applying medicines to treat a Quảng Bình fisherman whose eyes were hurt by acid from the boat’s battery.

Trọng gave the patient medicines and instructed the fishermen’s relatives on proper first-aid practices.

“It’s unfortunate how fishermen go on lengthy fishing trips often but are not aware of the most basic first-aid treatments. For example, I have encountered cases where they applied alcohol or even fish sauce on burn wounds. So every time they come to my infirmary, I have to give them appropriate instructions,” he said.

In his seven years on the island, Dr Trọng has treated numerous patients, but one inspiring case stands out.

It was the 2014 Lunar New Year. A soldier at Radar Station No27 suddenly suffered profuse and unstoppable nosebleed due to increased blood pressure. Being a Tết holiday, he had to remain on duty at the station.

“We tried but couldn’t hold the bleeding for longer than a few seconds. So we had to treat him right there at the station, while he dutifully carried out his mission,” Dr Trọng recalled, with visible admiration and renewed sense of duty.

The Health Ministry plans to merge the General Hospital and the Infirmary into the Bạch Long Vĩ Military-Civilian Medical Centre. This move is expected to bring broad improvements in medical care for the island’s residents. – VNS

 

GLOSSARY

Bạch Long Vĩ is Việt Nam’s remotest island in the Gulf of Tonkin.

If a place is remote it is far away from anywhere else. No island in Việt Nam is as far away from anywhere else as Bạch Long Vĩ is, which means that it is the remotest.

A gulf is a huge bay in the sea.

This spells daunting hardship, especially for doctors and other medical staff stationed there, which means they are constantly challenged to think and act outside the box.

Spells” means “means”.

Daunting” means “difficult to deal with”.

These physicians have become living testament of the perseverance and an undying zeal to serve the people, even when it seems odds are stacked wholly against them.

A physician is a doctor.

A testament is proof of something being real and the truth.

Perseverance means keeping on going with something that may be difficult.

Undying zeal means “so much energy and enthusiasm it would be impossible to run out of it”.

If the odds are wholly stacked against the physicians, almost everything acts against them. There are many challenges (odds). So many that it seems that they could be stacked in a pile.

The hospital is headed by Dr. Nguyễn Đức Quân, a native of the northern port city of Hải Phòng who took up his job on the island soon after he finished his medical training.

A native of Hải Phòng is someone who comes from Hải Phòng.

“For me, living on the island, serving the people, and pursuing my medical profession are meaningful, fulfilling ways to spend my youth,” said the doctor, in his thirties now.

To pursue a medical profession means to take up a medical profession and develop it.

“Although the serious lack of necessary facilities poses myriad difficulties, the hospital’s doctors and staff consider this a challenge to better themselves,” Dr Quân said.

Facilities are things that make it possible to do certain functions. Medical facilities are things like operating theatres, surgical equipment and life support machines.

“Poses” means “presents”.

Myriad” means “many, many”. So many it is difficult to count.

On a remote island, circumstances have certainly generated opportunities for the medical staff to “better themselves.”

When people better themselves they make themselves worth more.

One time, during a tropical storm, a pregnant woman was admitted to the hospital, her condition critical with severe bleeding and acute abdominal pain.

When patient is critical, his or her condition could become worse at any time.

Severe means serious.

She was diagnosed with ruptured ectopic pregnancy (which occurs when an embryo develops outside of the uterus), and the only feasible treatment was to carry out a hemostatic surgery to stop the bleeding.

If a doctor diagnoses you with a certain condition or illness, he or she discovers what it is that is wrong with you.

Ruptured means “burst open suddenly”.

An embryo is an undeveloped baby inside a pregnant woman.

A uterus is a womb.

Feasible means possible and workable.

Hemostatic surgery is a type of surgery done to stop bleeding.

 “Cases like this are transferred inland for treatment.

To be transferred means to be sent from one place to another place.

Quân said the General Hospital was building a blood bank to ensure a stable supply of the essential fluid, since blood loss and lack of oxygen are two leading causes of death on the island.

Fluid means liquid.

In fact, the doctors and medical staff themselves are generous blood donors.

Blood donors are people who give their blood to a blood bank so that it can be offered to people who need it.

 Last August, fisherman Nguyễn Văn Thiết had three quarters of his arm severed, resulting in grave blood loss.

If an arm is severed it is separated from the main body.

Grave means heavy.

The hospital decided to directly transfuse blood from a nurse midwife, Nguyễn Thị Hương, timely saving his life.

To transfuse blood means to take it from one person and give it to another person.

Timely means “well timed”.

Quân said the hospital established several specialised units like its paediatric and maternity ward, which will become separate departments.

Paediatric means medical care of children.

A maternity ward is where mothers go to give birth to babies.

Preventive medicine teams and medical task forces had also been created to provide care for islanders on their boats when needed, and to launch awareness campaigns.

Preventive medicine is the medical practice that deals with making sure people do not catch diseases in the first place.

“It’s seldom that we transport patients inland since the long journey on the sea can negatively impact the patient’s health, even endanger their lives.

Seldom means not often.

If a sea journey negatively impacts a patient’s health, it is damaging to the patient’s health.

Hence our constant endeavour is to provide proper treatment on the island itself,” he added.

Hence” means “for this reason”.

Endeavour” means “trying hard”.

In the infirmary’s emergency room, Dr Trọng was disinfecting and applying medicines to treat a Quảng Bình fisherman whose eyes were hurt by acid from the boat’s battery.

An infirmary is a hospital.

Disinfecting means getting rid of bacteria by washing a wound with chemicals called disinfectant.

“For example, I have encountered cases where they applied alcohol or even fish sauce on burn wounds.”

Encountered” means “come across”.

“So every time they come to my infirmary, I have to give them appropriate instructions,” he said.

Appropriate means suitable.

In his seven years on the island, Dr Trọng has treated numerous patients, but one inspiring case stands out.

If something is inspiring it gives you the energy to want to go out and do something positive.

A soldier at Radar Station No27 suddenly suffered profuse and unstoppable nosebleed due to increased blood pressure.

Profuse means plentiful.

“So we had to treat him right there at the station, while he dutifully carried out his mission,” Dr Trọng recalled, with visible admiration and renewed sense of duty.

If Dr Trọng shows visible admiration, you can see from his expression that he thinks highly of something.

If you have a renewed sense of duty, you once again have the energy to carry out your duties

The Health Ministry plans to merge the General Hospital and the Infirmary into the Bạch Long Vĩ Military-Civilian Medical Centre.

If the General Hospital and the Infirmary are merged they are joined together to become one.

WORKSHEET

State whether the following  sentences are true, or false:

  1. Bạch Long Vĩ island is very close to cities and other places in Việt Nam.
  2. Lê Ngọc Trọng is both a military person and a medical person.
  3. Sometimes fishermen go on fishing trips without knowing much about first aid.
  4. Radar Station No27 is a military place.
  5. In this article, MoH stands for Ministry of Housing.

 

ANSWERS:

 

© Duncan Guy/Learn the News/ Viet Nam News 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. False; 2. True; 3. True; 4. True; 5. False.

 

 

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