New Year celebrations over the weekend break left many young people with alcohol poisoning in Hanoi and brain injuries due to drunken driving accidents in Ho Chi Minh City.
News website VnExpress said the capital city's major hospital Bach Mai received at least seven cases of poisoning from rice wine, mostly young men and college students.
One patient, Quang, 22, was admitted after vomiting blood the result of a drinking binge.
Doctors said his mental system was unaffected but his digestive system had been poisoned and would need further treatment.
Another patient, also 22, was admitted suffering from convulsions three hours after consuming alcohol in copious amounts.
Doctors said none of the cases were poisoned with the methanol, an industrial chemical sometimes added to rice wine to boost profits, which has killed numerous drinkers across the country in recent years.
Nguyen Dam Chinh from the poison center of the hospital said heavy alcohol poisoning can damage the muscle cells and debris from the destruction can block the kidneys and cause them to decline.
More severe cases can lead to rhabdomyolysis, a condition involving damaged skeletal muscle tissues, that can be fatal if not treated early, he said.
And even if those once afflicted recover, they wind up with permanent damage to their kidneys, the doctor said.
Vietnam's government recently imposed a decree aimed at restricting the sale of alcohol.
As of January 1, the decree stipulated that licenses would be issued to alcohol businesses on a limited basis, based on the population of different localities and the country as a whole.
Also during the holiday, Cho Ray Hospital, the leading emergency room in Ho Chi Minh City, received more than 250 victims of traffic accidents, with many of the patients having incurred severe brain injuries. Two of them were killed minutes after arriving at the hospital.
New Year's morning alone saw 15 people hospitalized with brain injuries due to traffic accidents, VnExpress reported.
Doctors at the hospital said most of the patients has driven drunk, and some of the drivers had crashed without colliding with other moving vehicles.
Trung Vuong Emergency Hospital in the city received 600 traffic accident cases during the holiday, including two patients who were dead upon arrival.
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