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Vietnam’s health ministry promises quick answers on 7 dialysis deaths

By Nam Phuong   May 31, 2017 | 12:19 am PT
Vietnam’s health ministry promises quick answers on 7 dialysis deaths
A patient is in critical condition after a dialysis procedure at Hoa Binh Hospital went wrong and killed seven others on Monday. Photo by VnExpress/NP
One patient surviving the incident in Hoa Binh Province is still in critical condition and cannot be transferred to Hanoi yet.

Health minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien has promised to quickly find out what caused the deaths of seven patients undergoing dialysis at a state-run hospital on Monday.

Tien said her unit will also clarify the responsibility of people involved in the incident in the northern province of Hoa Binh.

She visited families of some of the dead patients on Wednesday, two days after the disaster at Hoa Binh Province General Hospital shocked the whole nation, one that the health ministry has called “the most serious in many years.”

On Monday morning, 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.

One of the remaining victims is still in critical condition.

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

Hoa Binh police on Tuesday said they have opened a criminal investigation on the case. They have completed autopsies and returned the bodies to their families.

At a meeting with Hoa Binh's health department on Wednesday, Tien has asked them to not wait for police investigation. Health officials must be "honest and objective" to find the answers themselves, she said.

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