Commitment to Providing the Best Care

February 23, 2021

Dr. Preecha was concerned for the children in the Rak Jai Thai program during the second wave of COVID-19, making it prudent to postpone non-essential surgeries. Thanks to Bumrungrad’s telemedicine and medication delivery infrastructure, he continued to care for patients.

Just because patients are unable to travel to the hospital, doesn’t mean that they won’t be able to receive the quality care they require. Teleconsultations and medication delivery are additional services that Bumrungrad provides for the convenience of our patients, including those Bumrungrad cares for through its CSR programs.

At the end of 2020, the “Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration” made an announcement naming high-risk, closed-off provinces; areas which were classed Level 4 in risk for COVID-19 infection. This meant that travel across provincial borders was restricted, daily activities were restricted, and public services had to drastically increase their safety measures.     

With COVID-19 cases increasing abruptly, Dr. Preecha Laohakunakorn, a long-time physician of the Rak Jai Thai program, was greatly concerned for the safety of the children and parents who were part of the Rak Jai Thai program. Dr. Preecha suggested that all heart surgeries be postponed to a later date, as many families would have to travel to Bangkok from distant provinces, with some having to do so under circumstances where complete safety from COVID-19 could not be guaranteed.

Initially, Dr. Preecha reviewed each case scheduled for surgery between January and February 2021 to see which cases were able to be postponed and which were not. Little Plakao, from Prachin Buri province, was one of the cases scheduled for January 2021.

Plakao had received his first heart surgery when he was only one month old, then underwent his second heart surgery when he was four years old; both performed at Bumrungrad International Hospital arranged by the Rak Jai Thai program. Unfortunately, his case is a complicated one, and he requires further treatment; Plakao must have ongoing follow-up visits and continue to take his ongoing heart medication.

In reviewing Plakao’s case to see whether his surgery could be postponed, Dr. Preecha personally called Plakao’s mother to discuss his situation. He asked Plakao’s mother about how her son was currently doing, to which she responded that he was doing fine at the moment and living a normal life, although when exerting himself, he becomes fatigued and his lip become cyanotic. Dr. Preecha advised Plakao’s mother on how to care for him at home, and decided that it would be safe to postpone the surgery for a later date, and stating that Plakao would be able visit the hospital once the situation normalises. As well, the Children’s Center had coordinated with the Bumrungrad Pharmacy to send Plakao his medications, free of charge.

The pandemic certainly does affect how easily things run, but it won’t stop Bumrungrad’s doctors and multidisciplinary teams from providing the best care to each patient of the Rak Jai Thai program.
*The story and photo was permitted by the patient’s parent to be published.
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