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COVID-19 may have contributed to Hungarian tourist’s death, says doctor

COVID-19 may have contributed to Hungarian tourist’s death, says doctor

PHUKET: A Hungarian tourist who died after a serious road accident could have contracted COVID-19 whilst in hospital which may have contributed to his death, a doctor confirmed today (April 6).

By The Phuket News

Monday 6 April 2020, 04:46PM

Vachira Phuket Hospital Director, Dr Chalermpong Sukontapol. Photo: PR Dept

Vachira Phuket Hospital Director, Dr Chalermpong Sukontapol. Photo: PR Dept

The 25-year-old male was involved in a serious crash in the early hours of March 25 although the specifics of his accident were not disclosed. He was taken to Chalong Hospital at 4:30am then transferred to Vachira Phuket Hospital an hour later.

Vachira Phuket Hospital Director, Dr Chalermpong Sukontapol, confirmed that on arrival the man was still able to talk and communicate but was unable to move his arms and legs.

He did not undergo any testing for coronavirus at this stage, it was confirmed.

After initial x-rays it was revealed that a crucial part of his spinal column had been badly injured, affecting his nervous system. He underwent an operation around 3.30pm later that day but was unable to regain functionality in his arms and legs.

Several days later, on Mar 31, the patient complained of a high fever and temperature and was tested for coronavirus, returning a positive result. He then admitted to medical staff that he had been a regular visitor to Bangla Road during the two week period prior to his accident.

He was taken to an isolation ward in the NomKhrao building of the hospital and placed under observation. All medical staff who had been in contact with the patient were asked to self-quarantine for 14 days.

At approximately 2:40am on Friday (April 3) the patient was found as registering no pulse. Doctors administered CPR but it transpired it was too late to revive him and he was pronounced dead. He had been under care and close observation in the hospital for a total of 10 days.

Dr Chalermpong stated that although the injuries sustained in the crash were almost certainly the cause of death, coronavirus could have played a part in his demise.

Out of 112 medical staff at Chalong Hospital and Vachira Phuket Hospital, 108 have been exposed to high risk patients and were instructed to self-quarantine at PSU Phuket campus, Supitcha Hotel, and their own houses.

94 of the staff have been tested and were not infected, while the rest are still waiting for the result.

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