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Viet Nam to set up 12 national-level intensive care centers for treatment of sickest COVID-19 patients

VGP – Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long has recently issued Decision 3616/QD-BYT approving a project to strengthen emergency and intensive care capacity for hospitals treating critically ill COVID-19 patients.

07/30/2021 15:00

Under the project, there will have 12 national-level intensive care centers for COVID-19 treatment located at 12 hospitals in the northern, central and southern regions. Each accommodates from 200 to 3,000 beds. 

      >>> HCMC may extend social distancing rules by TWO weeks

Specifically, Bach Mai Hospital (second facility) will set up a 1,000-bed intensive care center. 

Six other hospitals including Viet Duc (second facility), the National Hospital Of Tropical Diseases (second facility), the Ha Noi Medical University Hospital (second facility), Hue Central Hospital, 108 Military Central Hospital, and 103 Military Hospital will set up intensive care centers with 500 beds each. 

Cho Ray Hospital, the Lung Central Hospital, Can Tho Central General Hospital will set up 200-bed intensive care center each. Ho Chi Minh Medical University Hospital will establish 500 intensive care center beds. 

The resuscitation centers which are based in HCMC will have 3,000 beds each. 

In addition, the ministry also tasked 33 hospitals to establish regional  intensive care centers, each with at least 50-100 beds and expand further towards 200 beds or 300 beds in accordance with the pandemic development.

Viet Nam is coping with the fourth wave of COVID-19 resurgence with over 100,000 new infections since it broke out in late April. The Delta variant creates high risks of transmission, increasing numbers of severely ill patients and fatalities, putting the health system under the  largest ever challenge. 

Even though a majority of hospitals have intensive care units (ICUs), they lack central oxygen system and compressed air systems to operate ventilators. In addition, the shortage of cameras and a central tracking system have made it difficult for medical workers to keep a close watch on critically ill COVID-19 patients. 

In practice, the ICUs of hospitals have not yet implemented advanced critical care techniques such as invasive, non-invasive mechanical ventilation, cardiopulmonary bypass (ECMO), and dialysis. 

At present, a few hospitals have masterminded artificial cardiopulmonary techniques due to the lack of specialized human resources, equipment for intensive care, inadequate investment and remuneration.  

Hence, it is necessary to early operate COVID-19 ICUs in a bid to dealing with a rise in COVID-19 patients./.

By Hoang Ha