A British pilot working for the national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines is receiving intensive care at Chợ Rẫy Hospital. — VNA/VNS Photo
HCM CITY — Doctors have said that Viet Nam's most seriously ill COVID-19 patient is getting better and may not need a lung transplant after all.
Top health leaders and experts in the fields of infection, respiration and intensive care discussed the British airline pilot's condition at a telemedicine consultation on Friday.
The patient has been identified by the Scottish Daily Mail as 43-year-old Stephen Cameron, a pilot for Vietnam Airlines.
Doctors from Chợ Rẫy Hospital in HCM City – where he was recently transferred to for intensive care after being announced free of the coronavirus – reported that Cameron's lung functions have recovered to 40 per cent their original capacity, up from the 30 per cent and 10 per cent reported after the last two consultations.
Doctors warned that Cameron remains in quite a serious condition because he still depends largely on Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), or life support.
The experts agreed moving him to Chợ Rẫy Hospital was the right decision, given the patient’s complex conditions.
The next steps in treatment will be focused on treating the infections in his lungs and weaning him off of ECMO.
Prof. Dr. Ngô Quý Châu, a respiratory specialist and acting Chairman of the Management Board of Bạch Mai Hospital in Hà Nội, suggested Chợ Rẫy Hospital look into using new drugs used to treat fungal infections for the patient’s lungs and design a nutrition plan towards improving the respiratory and diaphragm muscles.
Deputy health minister Nguyễn Trường Sơn agreed with the suggestions, adding that doctors should also carefully consider the patient’s kidney and liver functions.
He ordered Việt Nam-Germany Hospital to work with Chợ Rẫy to continue monitoring the patient’s health and look for suitable lungs for transplant, preferably from a registered braindead donor.
Previously, Chợ Rẫy Hospital’s doctors said that after reducing Cameron's sedative and muscle relaxant intake, he showed positive signs of consciousness – performing simple gestures with his head and fingers.
Cameron was connected to the Buddha Bar coronavirus cluster in HCM City's District 2 and was diagnosed with COVID-19 in March. — VNS