7 die while undergoing hemodialysis at northern Vietnam hospital

By Nam Phuong   May 29, 2017 | 08:16 pm GMT+7

Doctors suspect the patients died from anaphylactic shock.

Seven kidney patients died on Monday morning while undergoing hemodialysis at a hospital in the northern province of Hoa Binh.

In total, 18 patients were rushed to the hospital's emergency room suffering from suspected anaphylactic shock, and 11 remain in critical condition.

The patients were receiving routine treatment for chronic kidney disease at Hoa Binh General Hospital at the time of the incident. Doctors immediately stopped the hemodialysis and switched to emergency treatment, and the hospital mobilized nearly all of its key units to help save them, said Truong Quy Duong, the hospital's director.

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An ambulance carries a patient out of Hoa Binh General Hospital. Police officers can be seen standing guard outside the gate. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Tung

All medicines and chemicals used in the procedures have been sealed for investigation.

“We have instructed the hospital to continue treating the victims and to investigate the cause of the incident, but this takes time,” said Tran Quang Khanh, director of Hoa Binh's Department of Health. The cause is most likely anaphylactic shock, but the immediate task is to focus on saving the victims, according to Khanh.

Hanoi's Bach Mai Hospital has sent three doctors specializing in dialysis, allergies and toxicology to assist Hoa Binh General Hospital, said Nguyen Huu Dung, head of Bach Mai Hospital's Department of Artificial Kidneys.

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A crowd gathers outside the hospital entrance to wait for more information on the patients. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Tung

Anaphylactic shock can occur when a patient is undergoing hemodialysis, but such a large number of patients suffering from it at the same time is unheard of in recent years, according to Dung.

The Ministry of Health has also sent a team of experts to the scene to assist the hospital and determine the cause.

Police have been notified of the case and will be joining the investigation, Tuoi Tre newspaper reported Pham Hong Tuyen, director of Hoa Binh's police department, as saying.