|Examining a severe coronavirus patient in an ICU in Vietnam (Photo: internet)
The patient, a pilot for Vietnam Airlines, remains in intensive care and requires sedation in order to alleviate the anxiety and pain he faces. At present he requires the support of an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation machine in order to facilitate lung-protective mechanical ventilation. In addition, he is also being treated with antibiotics and dialysis.
Doctors believe that with 90% of his lungs damaged, a lung transplant appears to be the only solution which can save his life. The patient underwent a CT-scan on May 18 to re-evaluate his health status in the lead up to surgery.
This marks the second time that the 43-year-old man has undergone a scan in order to detect and evaluate the damage done to his lungs. The first scan was conducted on May 13 with doctors discovering that pulmonary fibrosis had solidified both of the patient’s lungs, meaning that only around 10% of his lungs remain active. With this in mind, it appears highly unlikely that he will survive unless he receives a lung transplant.
The patient was originally diagnosed with the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the COVID-19 on March 18, several days after visiting Buddha Bar, a COVID-19 hotspot in Ho Chi Minh City. Since being hospitalised, his health has severely deteriorated, with test results coming back both positive and negative for the virus at different times.
Leading experts from the Professional Council under the Ministry of Health, alongside hospital doctors, are scheduled to hold a consultation to discuss the patient’s current health status and the possibility of performing a life-saving lung transplant on him on May 19.
With the patient receiving treatment at the Ho Chi Minh City-based Hospital of Tropical Diseases, he will need to be transferred to Cho Ray hospital in order to undergo the transplant as soon as the conditions allow him to.