Vietnam doctors hold their breath as Tet drinking likely to increase traffic crashes

By Cam Giang, Thanh Nien News

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A victim of traffic accident being treated at Hanoi's Viet Duc Hospital on February 12, 2015. Photo: Cam Giang A victim of traffic accident being treated at Hanoi's Viet Duc Hospital on February 12, 2015. Photo: Cam Giang

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Traffic accidents are expected to rise significantly during the Tet Lunar New Year holiday due to increasing traffic and alcohol consumption, doctors have warned. 
“The number of traffic accidents may increase by 30 to 50 percent during Tet,” said Nguyen Xuan Hung, head of the emergency ward at Hanoi’s Viet Duc Hospital.
Such a surge would lead to more death tolls in Vietnam, where around 24 people are killed and hundreds injured in traffic accidents nationwide on a daily basis. 
According to Hung, 60 percent of emergency cases at his hospital are injuries, around 60-70 percent of which are caused by traffic accidents.
Without revealing a specific figure, he said the number of victims of alcohol-related traffic accidents admitted to the hospital in January has increased by 15 percent compared to the same month last year.
“Half of traffic accidents involved motorbikes,” he said. 
Hung said it is difficult to treat for people injured in drunk driving cases.
“High blood alcohol volume can hinder the effects of medicine,” he said. 
Viet Duc, one of Vietnam's major hospitals for emergency cases, has prepared for a surge in the number of traffic accident victims during Tet, including personnel in its emergency ward and more machines.
There were 458 traffic accidents during the seven days of last year's Tet holiday, killing 212 people and injuring 481 others.
A total of 209 traffic accidents were recorded during the recent 2015 New Year Holiday from January 1-4, killing 104 people and injuring 135 others, according to the National Traffic Safety Committee.

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