The Centre for Researching and Aiding Operation Smile (OSCA) made a statement regarding a case in which three children died after taking part in their charity programme in Khanh Hoa Province.
OSCA, which was established by the Hanoi's Department of Science and Technology in 2007, has been providing free surgery for 2,500 children with cleft palates and similar deformities in Vietnam. On August 23, they arrived in Nha Trang and, in cooperation with Military Hospital 87, provided their services to 11 children. Three of those children later developed complications and died.
Dr. Nguyen Thi Thanh Binh, the anaesthesiologist, said they checked the children's medical backgrounds and followed standard procedure. Binh went on to say that it was a strange incident because the other eight children came through the surgery normally.
Dr. Nguyen Thi Thanh Binh
Dang Thi Thu Hoai, director of OSCA, said the doctors in this programme are all volunteers with years of experiences. "We have never had a fatality before. We're trying to share some burden with the families of the deceased children and are cooperating with authorities in their investigation," she said.
According to the Khanh Hoa Province Department of Health, the OSCA and their doctors were all properly licensed. Dr. Le Tan Phung, from the provincial Department of Health, also commented on the abnormality of a case in which three separate patients died of complications from the same procedure at the same facility.
The department ordered a halt to the surgeries and conducted an investigation of OSCA and Military Hospital 87 doctors. The initial results uncovered no wrongdoings, and found nothing wrong with the anaesthetics used.
The Ministry of Health has suspended OSCA from operations.