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Last Updated: Friday, 22 August, 2003, 11:02 GMT 12:02 UK
Vietnamese man 'back from dead'
Vietnamese streets
Vietnam's health sector has a poor reputation
Hospital officials in Vietnam say an elderly man declared dead by doctors has been found alive after spending a night in a hospital morgue.

Nguyen Van Quan, 73, shocked his daughter - who arrived to take him to his funeral - when his eyes sprung open before her.

"I was shocked and frightened when I saw the blanket that covered my father moving," Quan's daughter said.

"When the morgue officials pulled back the blanket, my father's eyes moved, brightening with joy," she said.

Doctors at Chi Minh City hospital had concluded that Mr Nguyen died of heart failure on 15 August, and moved him to the morgue where he was placed among corpses for seven hours.

Mr Nguyen said her father's lips were stained with blood because "he had to clench his teeth to endure the icy atmosphere inside the morgue".


But it is thought the conditions might have saved her father.

"I think the cold atmosphere in the morgue had a strong impact on Mr Nguyen's arteries and helped revive him," said Dr Nguyen Thanh Truyen, a leading forensic specialist.

Mr Nguyen was admitted to the Nguyen Tri Phuong hospital after complaining of chest pain.

He slipped into a coma after he awoke from the ordeal and is staying at the hospital while doctors work to bring him out.

The level of medical attention given to patients by doctors and nurses in Vietnam often depends upon bribes handed over by families.

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