Hospital Struggling With Influx Of Road Accident Victims

Mittaphab Hospital is struggling to cope with a dramatic surge in demand for orthopaedic surgery caused by increasing numbers of road accident victims seeking treatment.

Last year overall in the capital there were approximately 50-60 road accidents per day but this had doubled to around 100-120 per day this year. Of the accident victims 80 percent were treated for bone injuries including brain injuries, a leading doctor confirmed.

Deputy Director of Mittaphab Hospital in Vientiane, Dr Phoukhieng Douangchack, told Vientiane Times yesterday at a handover ceremony for medical equipment that the hospital didn’t have enough orthopaedic surgeons and many doctors still lacked experience in the field as well as neurosurgery to treat the growing number of patients with brain injuries every year.

She said the hospital was now treating 15-20 bone injury patients around the clock every day. This meant they may not be able to supply sufficient quality care to meet their patient’s needs.

“We have a medical team on standby for 24-hour emergency services,” she said but it seemed their 10 doctors were struggling to cope with the workload as they didn’t have enough time to rest with bone injury cases continuing to increase, she said.

“Doctors on the hospital emergency team added that most of the road accident victims come for treatment because their accident was the result of drunk driving or driving at excessive speed,” she explained.

According to the hospital, out of the total number of road accidents in Vientiane from April to July this year, over 8,000 people required hospital treatment with seven patients unfortunately dying while under care. Young people made up the bulk of accident victims with 80 percent involved being aged 19-30.

According to a report from the Traffic Police Department of the Ministry of Public Security there were 530 fatalities in 2,754 accidents nationwide over the period from January 1 to June 7, 2015.

Along with the fatalities, 583 people were left in a critical condition, 1,716 were seriously injured and 2,022 people were slightly injured. In addition, damage amounting to 50 billion kip was reported with 189 vehicles written off, 2,399 sustained moderate damage and 2,324 vehicles sustained minor damage, according to the figures.

Vientiane again topped the list with 730 accidents, including 126 fatalities and 983 people injured. Some 1,400 vehicles also sustained damage.

Source: Vientiane Times