Vientiane hospitals brush up for 25th SEA Games

Posted by samakomlao Sunday, August 16, 2009

Vientiane Hospitals are gearing up to train staff in the English language, hoping to serve visiting guests to the best of their ability during the 25th SEA Games set to take place from December 9-18 in Vientiane.

Refresher courses will also make sure all procedures are in line with international medical practices.

Mahosot, Mittaphab and Setthathirath are the key hospitals in Vientiane to serve the event and help athletes and other participants in case of accident or illness.

Staff will be standing by 24 hours at both the hospitals and at major competition venues.

Director of Setthathirath Hospital , Associate Professor Dr Som Ock Kingsada said the hospital has already allocated medical staff to support the games.

He expected about 132 doctors and nurses from the hospital to join the events.

This number includes 77 fourth, fifth and sixth year student interns from the University of Health Sciences .

“We are also preparing medicine, laboratories, beds and four ambulances to respond to injuries and illnesses effectively,” said Dr Som Ock, who is also the rector of the university.

“One challenge for us is A/H1N1, which is still spreading worldwide.”

“For this reason, people with a body temperature over 38 degress Celsius with symptoms such as coughing, sneezing will be treated as possible H1N1 cases.”

“If someone displays flu-like symptoms they should remain isolated in a well ventilated room to prevent the risk of the virus spreading to others,” Dr Som Ock said.

Setthathirath Hospital is located in Donkoy village, Xaysettha district, along Kamphaengmeuang road.

The hospital consists of 22 divisions with 175 beds and receives about 300 cases a day; about 60 of those patients require the services of the emergency ward.

Mahosot Hospital is also preparing medical equipment and staff to support the event.

Associate Professor Dr Bounkong Sihavong said the hospital is improving services at its intensive care unit to assist the general public and athletes in emergency cases.

One ambulance and one mobile X-ray unit from the hospital will be used during the games.

The hospital is also preparing to deal with cases involving large numbers of patients, up to 50 people at a time.

During the games, staff will be on-call 24 hours, even when they are at home.

“They should be available full time for this event,” Dr Bounkong said.

The hospital was the first established in Laos , opening in 1910 when its doctors were French nationals.

Most doctors at the hospital have trained in France , Japan , Australia , Thailand and the US . Director of Mittaphab Hospital , Associate Professor Dr Vanliem Bouaravong, said the hospital will train its staff in specialised medical and English language skills in preparation for the SEA Games.

Dr Vanliem said staff needed to be trained to help athletes and the public during the games.

“Many of our staff specialise in helping people with injuries, either to the brain or other parts of the body.”

“It's a special honour to be asked to help athletes in the unfortunate event they receive an injury,” said Dr Vanliem, who is also a member of the 25th SEA Games Medical and Anti-Doping Committee.

Mittaphab Hospital has 200 beds.

More than 300 doctors and nurses will be on call during the games.

Some will be on duty at sports venues including Lao-ITECC, Don Chan Palace , Km 16 stadium, National University of Laos, Chao Anou stadium and the Beungkhayong Indoor Stadium.

Others will be on stand by around the clock at the hospital.

Mittaphab Hospital staff have a lot of practical experience and have trained in Russia , Germany , Cuba , Mongolia and other countries.

“We expect to organise at least five training courses for our staff ahead of the games,” Dr Vanliem said.

The hospital will coordinate with other major hospitals to make sure enough medical staff are available to cope with any injuries or medical emergences.

The three hospital directors agreed that lack of funding remains the main barrier to successful preparations for the SEA Games.

By Xayxana Leukai

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