Patient with no kidney put on dialysis

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A Mekong Delta hospital said Thursday it would provide free dialysis treatment to a patient whose health is getting worse after doctors removed both two kidneys without her consent, the Nguoi Lao Dong newspaper reported.

Representatives from the Can Tho General Hospital said it would also perform free kidney transplant surgery for Hua Cam Tu, the 37-year-old patient, if it can find a donor.

Tu was admitted to the hospital on December 1 to treat her water-congested left kidney. Her right kidney was normal and functioning properly.

On Tuesday, Dec 6, a group of doctors led by Dr Tran Van Nguyen performed a key-hole surgery to remove water from her left kidney.

Nguyen Thien Tri, Tu's husband, said he had signed a document in which he gave permission for the hospital to perform the key-hole surgery on his wife.

The document allowed the doctors to remove the left kidney in a worst case scenario. The right kidney was to be kept intact.

Two hours after the surgery, Tu's family was told that the surgery was successful.

However, Tu's body swelled up the following day. Tri said a subsequent ultrasound scan showed that Tu had no kidney left.

After Tri asked the doctors about the "missing kidney," Dr Nguyen told him that doctors were forced to remove Tu's right kidney due to an unexpected situation in the operation.

Nguyen said Tu bled a lot during the operation. She had a rare condition horseshoe kidney in which the nerves of her kidneys were stuck together so it was impossible to stop the bleeding, he said.

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Doctors were forced to remove her right kidney to save her, he added.

Tri later sent a complaint to the hospital, which led to Dr Nguyen's suspension. The Can Tho City Health Department established a team to investigate the case.

On Thursday, Vu Le Chuyen, chairman of Vietnam Kidney Association, said horseshoe kidney can be detected via ultrasound scan, CT scan or X-ray scan.

Chuyen blamed scan technicians at the Can Tho hospital for not detecting Tu's defect.

Meanwhile, the hospital has made no mention of Dr Nguyen's malpractice as well as the fact that he had lied to the patient's family.

It said efforts are being focused on Tu's treatment, and it will punish the doctors involved in the case later.

Tu's health has deteriorated since the removal of both kidneys. She is being treated at the hospital.

Doctors have not commented on her prognosis.

While the case is being investigated further, the family of another patient on Monday (Dec 12) sent a complaint to the hospital accusing Nguyen of malpractice.

Lam Ngoc Giau, a 44-year-old resident of Can Tho City, said Nguyen Minh Hieu, his 33-year-old wife, had previously undergone surgery at the Can Tho General Hospital to have a conduit placed into her water-congested left kidney.

On Dec 7, she was admitted to the hospital for a surgery to change the conduit. Dr Nguyen and another doctor named Nguyen Phuong Thuy performed the surgery.

Two days later, Nguyen admitted that he had placed the conduit on Hieu's right kidney by mistake.

Nguyen said he would perform a surgery to put the conduit in the left kidney, saying the hospital will pay for the conduit and the desensitizer fees only. The family must pay other fees, he said.

Giau did not accept the request and sent a complaint seeking compensation from the hospital.

He said Hieu had bled after the surgery and her condition was not good.

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