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TCM helps Hainan novel coronavirus patients recover

By Ma Zhiping in Haikou | | Updated: 2020-02-21 13:35
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Designated hospitals in South China's Hainan province have introduced methods integrating Western medicine with traditional Chinese medicine in diagnosing and treating novel coronavirus pneumonia patients, with TCM playing a unique role in fighting the contagion, according to TCM experts from local hospitals.

"We introduced integrated treatment of Western medicine with traditional Chinese medicine in diagnosing and treating NCP patients in Hainan since the outbreak of the epidemic and TCM proves effective in quickly improving clinical symptoms and strengthening patients' resistance,"said Zhou Songjing, deputy director of the Traditional Chinese Medicine Department at Hainan Provincial People's Hospital, the largest in the tropical island province.

"Each patient has different prescriptions, which were changed every two days on average according to the change in individual conditions,"Zhou said.

Zhou added that doctors at the hospital adjusted the prescription at least nine times for a 64-year-old woman surnamed Gao, the first critically ill patient in Hainan who was discharged on Monday.  Gao came to Hainan on Jan 20 for the Chinese Spring Festival holiday and entered a negative-pressure isolation ward on Jan 29.

More than 90 percent of patients discharged from the hospital have recovered through integrated Western medicine and TCM treatment, according to the hospital.

"The effect of using traditional Chinese medicine is obvious in improving my immune system,"a 30-year-old woman surnamed Chen told a local newspaper. Chen was discharged from Hainan Provincial People's Hospital on Wednesday and was sent to a centralized isolation observation center for further medical observation for 14 days.

"Based on the national diagnosis and treatment program and in line with Hainan's humid climate conditions, we have formulated three TCM diagnosis and treatment plans with Hainan characteristics," said Zhang Hanhong, deputy head of the Hainan NCP Prevention and Control Experts Group and director of the Emergency and Critical Care Department at Hainan Provincial Hospital of Chinese Medicine.

He said each hospital has its own TCM expert team to work out specific treatment plans, which will be adjusted and improved in due time to cope with the continuous change of the epidemic situation on the island.

Statistics from the Hainan Provincial Health Commission showed that as of Sunday, 93 percent of the 162 confirmed novel coronavirus pneumonia patients had received integrated Western and Chinese medicine treatment while 76 percent of suspected cases also received TCM treatment, apart from Western medicine methods.

As of 8 am on Friday, Hainan had reported a total of 168 confirmed NCP cases and 89 have recovered and been discharged. In total, 5,679 close contacts had been traced, 4,668 removed from medical observation, with 1,011 still undergoing centralized medical observation, according to provincial health authorities.

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