5 outstanding medical events in 2020

The year 2020 will see the medical’s extraordinary efforts to fight the Covid-19 epidemic and medical achievements such as twin dissection and organ transplantation.

Successful control of Covid-19

On January 23, Vietnam discovered the first case of nCoV infection while the information on the virus and the disease was completely new, with a lot of unknown things. A few days later, a translation appeared on people from the Wuhan Heart. The whole country began to worry. Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Truong Son himself entered the isolation room to contact patients, learn about the medical condition and reassure the public spirit. The entire medical profession stepped into the face of the epidemic, curing all 16 patients in February. The people thought they were relieved.

The first Covid-19 patient in Vietnam (left) was treated at Cho Ray hospital, recovered at the end of February. Photo: Huu Khoa.

On the evening of March 7, the atmosphere suddenly stretched like strings, millions of people did not sleep, worried about bad news. “Patient 17” from the UK was announced that night, being the first patient in the second Covid-19 outbreak in Vietnam. The epidemic spread to the community in many provinces, the transmission route was complicated, the disease level was much more serious. With the experience since the anti-SARS era and understanding about the disease through the first phase, the health sector has fiercely followed the 5-step motto, including prevention, tracing, isolation, zoning, and rapid epidemic control. Because the epidemic is completely new, doctors both research and treat each person specifically. All patients are completely cured even the most desperate cases such as “patient 19”, “patient 91”. Vietnam has become a successful example of controlling Covid-19, which is praised around the world.

The third epidemic broke out suddenly in late July, hitting the weakest people directly – critically ill patients in kidney departments, resuscitation … in three Da Nang hospitals. The biggest challenge is not identifying the source of transmission; The capacity of testing and treatment in the central region cannot meet the number of patients and suspected acute infections. Teams of “special forces” for good medical doctors from Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and other provinces were quickly dispatched to Hue, Da Nang, and Quang Nam in order to put the epidemic down decisively. This strategy plus the scientific traceability tool has helped control the spread, limiting consequences in 35 deaths, mainly in the elderly with pre-existing diseases.

Nanocovax model produced by Nanogen Company.  Photo: Quynh Tran.

Nanocovax model produced by Nanogen Company. Image:Quynh Tran.

Vaccine development has been underway since the beginning of the year, leading to the first human vaccine testing in progress, promising a safe and effective anti-epidemic weapon.

Limited resources, long borders, high openness, but Vietnam successfully put out the epidemic thanks in large part to its efforts to implement effective communication strategies, effective prevention, isolation, treatment, prevention, and Social and economic life is easier to breathe in the “new normal”.

The largest fusion surgery in three decades

City Children’s Hospital, Ho Chi Minh City, performed a major surgery to separate two girls attached to the pelvic abdomen on July 15, 32 years from the Vietnamese-German pair operation.

Nearly 100 doctors participated in the surgery to separate twins Hoang Truc Nhi and Hoang Dieu Nhi. At this time, the two babies are 13 months old, weighing a total of 15 kg. Each baby has two arms, two legs, but connects many blood vessels and shares many internal organs, living in symbiosis.

Dieu Nhi embraced and held Truc Nhi's hand.  Photo: Huu Khoa.

Dieu Nhi kissed Truc Nhi, one month after the surgery. Image: Huu Khoa.

Doctor Truong Quang Dinh, Director of City Children’s Hospital, is the commander in chief of surgery, coordinating with many different teams. The surgery is longer than 13 hours, divided into three phases including separation, reconstruction, and rearrangement of bones and organs. Truc Nhi – Dieu Nhi are separated into two independent people.

On October 7, the two sisters were discharged from the hospital. Dr. Dinh assessed that the baby’s recovery process is almost perfect. Babies achieve the right development trajectory as a normal child, both physically and mentally. Next time, there will be a number of other surgeries that need to be performed to perfect the body.

“The surgery marks the great progress of the Vietnamese health in terms of adhesion of conjoined twins”, said Professor Tran Dong A, who led the world famous surgery 32 years ago, the dissect two babies this time, commented.

Truc Nhi – Dieu Nhi’s bright face and mischief after dissection make a common joy, creating confidence in science and medicine for millions of Vietnamese in the difficult epidemic and economic context.

Record 23 organ transplants in 13 days

From August 30 to September 12, Viet Duc Friendship Hospital performed 23 consecutive organ transplants including three heart transplants, four liver transplants, 16 kidney transplants. Organ donations from both brain dead and living. After transplantation, the health of the patients is progressing well and stable.

Organ transplant is a difficult technique because it needs extremely precise coordination between the teams of the donor and the receiver. Doctors can not control the time because of dependence on the donor source, but only a little delay can cause organ damage. Transplant surgeries are usually tens of hours long and anti-rejection post-operative care is complicated.

To imagine the speed of organ transplant capacity growth in Vietnam, it can be recalled that before 2004, when the first liver transplantation took place, many specialists were sent abroad to study. The preparation period for that surgery was 5 years long.

Doctor of Viet Duc Hospital performed heart transplant for 2 patients in 2 consecutive days.  Photo: Hospital provided

Doctor of Viet Duc Hospital performed heart transplant for 2 patients in 2 consecutive days. Image:Hospital provided

23 consecutive organ transplants in 18 days have set a new record of Huu Nghi Viet Duc Hospital. More than 400 nurses and doctors work throughout the week, moving continuously from patient’s operating room to another. This is also the first time the Hospital’s Cardiovascular and Thoracic Center has heart transplantation for two patients for two consecutive days.

Remote examination and treatment

The Project of Remote Examination and Treatment, issued on June 22, opens a new era in diagnosis and treatment, with two goals: all medical facilities, especially the district level, to receive continuous professional support. ; All people get medical support as often as needed.

In the situation of Covid-19 prevention, the Telehealth system helps to effectively treat patients while ensuring social gap to prevent epidemics; reduce travel costs, reduce overcrowding for higher-level hospitals, strengthen capacity for lower levels, and connect hospitals.

Remote examination and treatment can be applied to many processes, from diagnosis to treatment, prevention to recovery. For patients, instead of having to move hundreds of kilometers to Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City, now they can still lie at the hospital near their home, even at home, and still be diagnosed by a doctor at the central level. real time.

Up to now, about 1,500 medical facilities across the country have been connected online through the Telehealth application to carry out counseling and medical examination and treatment activities.

Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long assesses this as an important strategy for the health sector, especially in the era of digital transformation.

Many dangerous infectious diseases reappear

After years of silence, many deadly infectious diseases have emerged this year such as diphtheria, fever, Whitmore.

While Covid-19 was raging during spring and summer, diphtheria silently attacked many children in the Central Highlands, then spread to Quang Tri, Quang Ngai. Nearly 200 cases of diphtheria were recorded, of which four babies died. The number of patients increased by nearly 450% compared to 2019, an increase of 15 times compared to the period from 2014 to 2018.

Covid-19 interrupted the vaccination, contributing to an outbreak of diphtheria. In addition, many parents forget to take their child for the injection. In the Central Highlands, the vaccination rate of diphtheria – a disease included in the nationwide vaccination program – is only 50%. To stop the epidemic, teams of medical doctors were immediately sent to villages to vaccinate tens of thousands of people in the community. In October, translation is controlled.

The doctor took samples to test diphtheria for people in Dak Nong in June. Photo: Ngo Duyen

The doctor took samples to test diphtheria for people in Dak Nong in June.Ngo Duyen

In November, Whitmore’s disease broke out in the central region, due to prolonged flooding, which is a strong growing environment for pathogenic bacteria. From the beginning of the year to October, Hue Central Hospital received 41 cases, 3 times higher than the average number of cases over the years. Quang Tri recorded 30 cases. The sudden increase in the number of Whitmore cases is closely related to the rain and flood conditions in the localities.

Malaria – an infectious disease thought to have disappeared for many years – reappeared at the end of the year in several northern provinces. Due to the uncommon disease information, most patients arrived late, in serious condition.

These deadly infectious diseases are all old and re-exported diseases, which can be completely prevented by vaccination and clean hygiene.

Department of Health


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