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Jun 18, 2020 / 15:06

British pilot in Vietnam no longer needs lung transplant

After getting unplugged of ventilator, the British patient had the tracheotomy tube removed and could breathe himself.

A British pilot, the most critical Covid-19 patient in Vietnam, will not need a lung transplant as he now can breathe unaided, VnExpress quoted Luong Ngoc Khue, director of the Ministry of Health’s Medical Examination and Treatment Department, as saying.

Khue said the patient’s lungs are no longer infected and can breathe on his own, the muscles in his arms and legs are recovering well.

 The British pilot holds out a scarf with the word ‘Motherwell’, name of his favorite football club, on it. Photo: Cho Ray Hospital

The Briton is fully conscious and capable of coherent verbal communication. "At this stage, a lung transplant is no longer necessary," Khue added.

When Khue wished the patient to stay healthy to be able to soon return to England, the patient corrected the doctor very quickly, saying his hometown was in Scotland.

“This shows that the patient’s reaction was as if he had never been in coma,” Khue said.

The patient has been talking to his friends in other countries. He confirmed he was all alone with no siblings and his mother is dead.

The patient also took a photo with the doctors, holding up a scarf with the word 'Motherwell', which was a gift that his friends sent to him last week.

"Motherwell" is the name of a football team in his hometown, said the patient.

After getting rid of the ventilator, the patient had the tracheotomy tube removed and could breathe himself, Khue said.

Khue stressed that the Briton needs physical therapy and strict infection control as re-infection would be very dangerous for him.

Identified as Patient 91 in Vietnam, the British pilot tested positive for Covid-19 on March 18 and has had 90 days of treatment, the longest period for any Covid-19 patient in Vietnam.

In May, Vietnam health ministry considered a lung transplant for the British pilot as his condition at the time was much more severe. Computed tomography scan results showed that fibrosis had solidified most of his lungs, and he constantly relied on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) to stay alive.

The country has recorded 335 Covid-19 cases so far, with only ten active infections left and no deaths. It has gone 63 days without community transmission.