Widespread pneumonia sends children to hospitals in southern Vietnam

Hospitals in southern Vietnam have recorded a surge in the number of children being admitted over respiratory diseases, most prominently pneumonia, in recent months.

According to statistics provided by Dong Nai Children’s Hospital in Dong Nai Province, there have been a rocketing number of new pneumonia admissions for the past two months.

In August and September alone, the hospital treated over 5,000 outpatients and nearly 1,700 inpatients of pneumonia, an increase of 1,632 cases compared to the same period last year.

Notably, there has been an increase in both the number of viral pneumonia patients and the severity of their conditions compared to the previous year, according to Doctor Pham Thi Thu Thuy, head of the hospital’s respiratory ward.

The hospital admits on average 30 to 40 pneumonia patients every day, with peak days reaching up to 70 patients, Dr. Thuy said.

The surge in pneumonia admissions has led to an overload in the respiratory ward of Dong Nai Children’s Hospital, where multiple minor patients can be seen sharing the same bed while others resort to resting on hammocks put up by their parents.

Doctor Nguyen Trong Nghia, head of the hospital’s intensive care and poison control unit, attributed the disease outbreak to a change in weather conditions as well as the mutation of viruses to resist medications.

Meanwhile, doctors at Children’s Hospitals 1 and 2 in Ho Chi Minh City have reported a similar rise in the number of minor patients being admitted over respiratory problems, with an average of around 500 patients being treated every day for the disease at each hospital.

The hospitals have had to transfer some of the patients to another infirmary to reduce the load on their respiratory wards, which had earlier recorded a peak of 13 patients sharing a single bed.

In Can Tho City, from 2,500 to 3,000 respiratory patients have been admitted to Can Tho Children’s Hospital each day since mid-September, an increase of 1,000 cases compared to the previous period, according to its director, Doctor Tran Van De.

The majority of patients are admitted over pneumonia, bronchitis, upper respiratory infection, and nasopharyngeal diseases.

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