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Top official in heat-stroke coma after hot spring plunge

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PHUKET: A senior official at the Attorney-General’s Office in Bangkok is on 24-hour watch in the intensive-care unit (ICU) at Vachira Phuket Hospital, in Phuket Town, after jumping into a hot spring in Krabi last week.

Somkiat Phatkhun, the deputy director of the Training and Development Institute at the Office of the Attorney General in Bangkok, is fighting for his life, explained Dr Jessada Chungpaibulpatana, director of Vachira Hospital.

“He suffered severe heat stroke from plunging into a hot spring at Huai Nam Khao in Khlong Thom, Krabi, on April 13,” he said.

“Overcome by the heat, he passed out and the heat stroke triggered organ failures, specifically of his kidneys and liver.”

Mr Somkiat was on vacation with his wife when the incident occurred.

“She is fine as she entered the hot spring slowly,” Dr Jessada explained.

Mr Somkiat was initially rushed to Krabi Hospital. He was then taken to Bangkok Hospital Phuket on April 16, before being transferred to Vachira, Dr Jessada noted.

“He remains in a coma under constant watch in the ICU here at Vachira,” he said.

Dr Jessada urged visitors to hot springs to enter the waters slowly.

“Keep in mind that the water temperature is much higher than your body temperature,” he said. “Let your body adapt to the high temperature by entering the water slowly.

“Once your body has adapted to the hot water you will be fine.”

Following the incident, Krabi Governor Songphol Sawasdhram ordered local authorities to ensure that signs were installed to clearly warn tourists about what precautions to take before entering a hot spring.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong

 

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