Experts suspect water source caused 8 dialysis deaths at Vietnam hospital

By Nam Phuong   June 7, 2017 | 07:34 pm PT
'Chemical residue could have built up from the water filtration process.'

A council of doctors and health experts has suggested that water used for dialysis procedures at Hoa Binh Province General Hospital was to blame for an incident that left eight people dead last week.

Truong Quy Duong, director of the state-owned hospital who is on the 12-member council, said at a meeting on Thursday that it has submitted its initial conclusions to the health ministry, which will make the final verdict.

Duong said the council looked at a variety of factors but the evidence pointed towards the water source.

“Chemical residue could have built up from the water filtration process,” he said.

Hoa Binh's health department also suspended Duong on Thursday and is considering further punishment.


A kidney patient from Hoa Binh Province General Hospital receives treatment in Hanoi after the dialysis disaster. Photo by VnExpress/Le Nga

On May 29, 18 patients were being treated for kidney failure at the hospital, 80 kilometers (50 miles) southwest of Hanoi. After 45 minutes on dialysis some reported nausea, abdominal pains and shortness of breath.

The hospital sent for help from Hanoi but it was too late for seven of the patients, who appeared to have died from anaphylactic shock.

Another victim died last Sunday.

The others, as well as around 100 patients who were receiving similar treatment at the department, have been transferred to Hanoi.

The health ministry has called the medical incident “the most serious in many years”.

Hoa Binh police have also launched a criminal probe into the case.

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