The 91st patient's lung function has recovered by 50 per cent. Photo taken on Wednesday. — VNA/VNS Photo
HCM CITY — Việt Nam’s most seriously ill COVID-19 patient's lungs have recovered by 50 per cent, doctors said on Thursday during a telemedicine consultation.
At the most critical time, the 43-year-old British pilot named Stephen Cameron, also known as Việt Nam's COVID-19 Patient No.91, had his lungs damaged by 90 per cent, putting him on the verge of death.
The patient has undergone treatments since March 18 at HCM City Hospital for Tropical Diseases. On May 22, he was transferred to Chợ Rẫy Hospital for intensive care and preparation for a lung transplant, after he was declared free of the novel coronavirus.
On Wednesday, the patient was taken off life support (ECMO) and so far, his vital stats remain quite stable. He can now respond to doctors and nurses and hold a cup to drink water by himself, and no longer require urinary catheterisation.
Lương Ngọc Khuê, deputy head of the treatment sub-department under the national steering committee for COVID-19 prevention and control, thanked the medical staff of HCM City Hospital for Tropical Diseases for “completing the mission” of treating and taking care of all patients, especially the 91st patient.
Doctors and medical experts also discussed medication and rehabilitation for Cameron.
Although his health has seen improvement, deputy health minister Nguyễn Thanh Long on Wednesday established a steering committee and task force consisting of top-tier doctors specialising in treating this particular case, including preparing for a lung transplant and performing post-surgical care.
The committee and task force will develop a treatment regimen based on the patient’s condition.
On Wednesday, Khuê said while the patient was off ECMO at the moment, his condition remains quite serious and will still be closely monitored, especially in terms of his lung infections and drug resistance.
“The patient will need several weeks to be completely independent of life support and gradually restore his motor functions,” he added.
Earlier, during treatment for COVID-19, the patient had suffered from cytokine storm syndrome, in which the immune system’s response to the virus caused harm to his organs.
The British Consulate in HCM City has today visited the patient.
The patent has so far spent 78 days in hospital care, the longest in all confirmed COVID-19 cases in Việt Nam.
His medical expenses are estimated to reach VNĐ3 billion (US$130,000) so far.
Việt Nam waives the hospital and treatment fees for all confirmed Vietnamese coronavirus patients, but foreign patients treated here have to pay after being treated.
The country reported no new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday. The tally of confirmed coronavirus patients in Việt Nam has stood at 328 since May 30 when the latest patient, a one-year-old boy returning from Russia on May 13 and quarantined upon arrival, tested positive for SARS-CoV-2.
A total of 302 patients have been given the all-clear, accounting for more than 92 per cent of reported infections. — VNS