The most common lung disease among coal miners in Vietnam is known as pneumoconiosis. Pneumoconiosis is an occupational lung disease and a restrictive lung disease caused by the inhalation of dust, often in mines and from agriculture. In 2013 it resulted in 260,000 deaths up from 251,000 deaths in 1990.
Fortunately, doctors in Vietnam have started conducting lung lavage, or lung washing, treatments on miners who suffer from the disease. According to Le Quang Trung, deputy director of the Coal and Mineral Hospital, lung washing is the most effective way to treat the disease, however, Pneumoconiosis is still not curable.
A lung lavage treatment involved circulating between nine to 12 litres of fluid through each lung. The entire procedure takes between 15 to 25 days to be completed per patient.
The lung lavage treatment was not available in Vietnam until 2004. Before that, miners were sent to China for treatment. Over 2,000 workers have had their lungs washed since 2004.
Read the full story from Viet Nam News here.