City lacks blood to treat dengue fever complications

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Ho Chi Minh City is suffering a blood shortage even as the number of seriously ill dengue fever patients requiring blood transfusions increases, doctors say.


"For many cases, we've had to run over to the Hematology and Blood Transfusion Hospital for every little amount of blood," Dr. Nguyen Van Vinh Chau, deputy director of the Tropical Diseases Hospital was cited by local news website Dan Tri as saying Thursday.


Chau was speaking at a meeting held to discuss how the Ministry of Health can better deal with dengue fever.


Statistics compiled at hospitals in September showed that the number of dengue fever patients has increased dramatically, going beyond the maximum last year.


The Children's Hopistal No.2 admitted nearly 700 patients while the Tropical Diseases Hospital 1,323, doctors said at the meeting.


The condition of the patients was also worse than in previous years as many suffered multiple organ declines and blood infections.


Such patients could die if they did not get blood transfusions quickly, the doctors said.


Application of the dengue virus NS1 antigen test, which costs VND180,000 (US$9.23) each and gives results in three days, has not been carried out at province-level hospitals.


This has placed more burden on city hospitals which received the more severe cases from provinces, the meeting heard.

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