|A child with dengue fever receives intensive treatment at a hospital in HCM City. VNA/VNS Photo|
HCM CITY — HCM City health authorities want hospitals and medical facilities to adopt the three-level model successfully used last year against COVID-19 for treating dengue, which has claimed 26 lives this year, the highest rate in a decade.
The model will categorise patients according to severity (mild, severe and critical) for timely and proper treatment to minimise deaths, according to the Department of Health.
First-level healthcare facilities, including grassroots ones and home- and community-based medical stations, will care for mild patients.
It is vital to transfer patients to second-level facilities in time when the illness is severe or there is no improvement after treatment.
The second level, comprising district- and city-level facilities, will treat patients with moderate symptoms.
In the case of critical patients, the department’s dengue treatment specialist has to be notified before transferring them to the highest-level facilities.
The second-level facilities play a key role since they can prevent patients’ condition from worsening and save their life, according to the department.
The highest-level facilities, like specialised infection disease hospitals such as the HCM City Hospital for Tropical Diseases and other general hospitals designated by the department, will admit those in severe and critical condition.
They must have dengue resuscitation units and ICUs.
Tăng Chí Thượng, director of the department, said the city has seen a steady surge in severe cases due to delays in hospital admission and improper or late treatment at home.
The outbreak has shown no sign of slowing down and could even worsen, he warned.
Health authorities have drawn up various scenarios to respond to the epidemic to ensure efficient treatment for 2,000-6,000 dengue patients.
Around 800 doctors and 1,600 nurses will stand by to care for the sick besides 480 specialists and 960 nurses to treat the critically ill.
The authorities are exhorting the public to take precautions like killing mosquitoes and larvae and ensuring proper sanitation in residential areas.
Medical professionals said it is important to educate the public in identifying dengue symptoms and promptly going to health facilities to minimise the risk of death.
Dr Trương Hữu Khanh, former head of the infectious diseases department at HCM City’s Children’s 1 Hospital, said it is vital for parents to recognise dengue symptoms such as high fever, petechiae, bleeding gums, nosebleed, bruises, and vaginal bleeding.
The disease tends to worsen between the fourth and sixth days with cardiovascular collapse, respiratory disease and diarrhoea.
The Ministry of Health has reported a rise in the number of dengue cases and deaths from last year to 211,400 and 87, respectively, with the prevalence being mostly in HCM City and southern provinces.
HCM City has accounted for 80 per cent of all cases in the country this year, and the outbreak is likely to persist due to favourable weather conditions for mosquitoes to breed. — VNS