Viet Nam does not have a system for the national collection of death data that meets international requirements for mortality reporting. It is identified as a ‘no-report’ country by the World Health Organization. Verbal autopsy reports is used in the community but excludes deaths in hospitals.
This project was undertaken in Bach Mai National General Hospital and Viet Duc Surgical and Trauma Hospital in Viet Nam from 1st March 2013 to 31st March 2015. The study included developing a modified hospital death report form, consistent with the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th Revision, training staff in the use of the form and a medical record review of a sample of the forms to determine accuracy and completeness.
This study confirms the viability of implementing a death report form system compliant with international standards in hospitals in Viet Nam and provides the foundation for introducing a national death report form scheme. These data are critical to comprehensive knowledge of causes of death in Viet Nam. Death data about patients discharged home to die is presented for the first time, with implications for countries where this is a cultural preference. During the 23 months of the study, 3956 deaths were recorded. Across both hospitals, 222 distinct causes of deaths were recorded. Traumatic cerebral oedema was the immediate cause of death in 15% (575/3956) of cases, followed by septic shock (13%, 528/3956) and brain compression. 67% (2639/3956) of patients were discharged home to die. 33% (1314/3956) of deaths were due to a road traffic crash, or injury at home or work.
About Prof. Merrilyn Walton, AM, University of Sydney
Professor Walton is an internationally recognised expert in medical education to promote patient safety and the enhancement of healthcare in developing countries in South-East Asia. The major theme underpinning her work over the last 30 years can be summarized as improving health care outcomes through regulation, research of the discipline of patient safety and the development and implementation of patient safety education and training of the health care workforce.