Hospital ship Comfort racing to Haiti
Here’s a little bit about USNS Comfort, currently heading to Haiti:
The Navy hospital ship, USNS Comfort (T-AH 20), homeported in Baltimore, deployed Jan. 16 to support the relief efforts in Haiti’s capital along with USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and USS Bataan (LHD 5). A medical team of 550 Navy doctors, nurses, technicians and support staff will provide a host of medical services to include primary care, trauma care, pediatric care and orthopedic care upon arrival in Haiti. The medical team is comprised of Navy medical personnel stationed at National Navy Medical Center Bethesda and Naval Hospital Portsmouth.
The 894-foot ship has a full spectrum of hospital services to support disaster relief efforts. It has one of the largest trauma facilities in the United States and has four X-rays, one CAT scan unit, an MRI unit, a dental suite, a pharmacy and an optometry and lens laboratory. The ship also maintains up to 5,000 units of blood and can serve as many as 1,000 patients.
As the hospital ship USNS Comfort continues its race south to Haiti, sailors aboard the vessel race to get the facilities ready for the expected patients.
The Comfort, bulling its way through stormy seas, will receive another 350 medical personnel and support staff when it reaches the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince, Navy Capt. (Dr.) Jim Ware, commander of the medical treatment facility. This, he explained, will allow the staff to double the number of operating rooms.
The staff wants 11 operating rooms ready upon arrival in Port-au-Prince, expected to be Jan. 21. â€œWe will set up all 11, but only have the people to man eight until the other personnel come in,â€ said Navy Cmdr. (Dr.) Tim Donahue, director of surgical services.
The commander said medical personnel have been busy scrubbing the rooms and readying supplies. Medics exercised casualty-receiving procedures this afternoon, and will continue to do so.
The Comfort set sail less than four days after receiving orders. Getting medical supplies for the mission and ensuring that the systems on the ship worked continued right up to yesterdayâ€™s departure from Baltimore.
The ship was brought to life from â€œa cold start,â€ Ware said. Contractors were aboard working on generators up to the morning of departure. Once the ship was underway, plumbers still were turning on the water in berthing spaces, and information technology specialists were working to bring the Internet up as the ship headed out of the Chesapeake Bay.
The medical effort is aided by the fact that the Comfort was in Haiti on a humanitarian services exercise in April. â€œWe know the area, we know many of the people in the Ministry of Health, and that helps,â€ Donahue said. In addition, many medical specialists aided in the tsunami relief operation and for the relief effort for Hurricane Katrina.
Another help is that some aboard the Comfort are from Haiti. Petty Officer 3rd Class Yves Henry is a corpsman at Portsmouth Naval Hospital in Virginia who was called up to help man the ship. â€œIâ€™m proud to be in the Navy, and proud to be able to go and help,â€ he said.
Henry is worried about family and friends in Port-au-Prince. â€œI heard that my grandmother is all right,â€ Henry said. â€œIâ€™m anxious to get there and help.â€
Henry may be a translator for the medical department. Announcements went out aboard the ship for anyone who speaks Creole or Haitian French. Plans are to hire about 100 translators to assist in the medical effort.
The medical staff is preparing for crush injuries and burn cases, Donahue said. â€œBut we have specialists and equipment here to handle just about anything,â€ he said.
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
Table of contents for Haiti quake 2010
- Massive earthquake strikes Haiti
- Earthquake in Haiti – aftershocks continue
- Haiti earthquake aid
- Haiti quake damages pile up
- Horror in Haiti – the morning after the quake
- U.S. quickly responds to Haiti quake
- Infrastructure hurdles to Haiti quake relief
- U.S. Coast Guard on location in Haiti right now
- Strong aftershocks continue in Haiti
- PR Guard standing by – Gitmo damaged by Haiti quake
- Paras and Marines on alert for Haiti move
- Earthquake in Haiti update for January 13 evening
- Earthquake in Haiti – January 14 morning update
- Marines ready to assist Haiti after earthquake
- Earthquake in Haiti – Update for January 14 evening
- FEMA report on Haiti relief efforts for January 15
- Out of the night sky – Air Force secures Port-au-Prince airport
- Earthquake in Haiti – January 15 evening
- Haiti Quake Relief Funding Numbers
- But people are dying – thoughts on the Haitian disaster
- Aftershocks continue to rock Haiti
- Earthquake in Haiti – Update for January 16
- Haiti Quake Relief Funding Numbers for Jan 16
- Hospital ship Comfort sails for Haiti
- Baby delivered during Haiti evacuation
- Navy is delivering supplies to Haiti victims
- Hospital ship Comfort racing to Haiti
- Country club serves as forward base for Paras in Haiti
- Situation at Port-au-Prince airport improving
- Sanjay Gupta Assists Vinson Medical Team in Haiti
- USAID Update on the Haiti relief operation January 18
- Air drop to aid Haitian victims of earthquake
- Haiti Quake Relief Funding Numbers for Jan 18
- Earthquake in Haiti – morning update January 19
- Los Angeles rescuers save Haitian woman
- Stories from Haiti – update for Jan 20 morning
- American volunteers in Haiti
- American donations for Haiti earthquake relief – Jan 21
- Haiti earthquake relief update for Jan 21
- Haitians receiving care and support aboard Bataan
- Hospital ship Comfort healing, hugging Haitians
- Brief update on Navy and Marine relief efforts in Haiti Jan 23
- Fort Hood veterinary services unit sent to Haiti
- Harbor damage in Port-au-Prince
- American giving for Haiti relief as of January 25
- Comparison of Haiti donations to Katrina and the tsunami
- Haitian Coast Guard base becomes hub for quake relief
- Comparison of Haiti donations to Katrina and the tsunami Jan 28
- High tech warbird aids Haiti relief efforts
- High-speed ferrys en route to Haiti
- Southern Command briefs on Haiti situation
- Paras opening roads in Haiti
- Aid from Dominican Republic via Kentucky National Guard
- Haitian assistance stories for February 3
- Haitian relief efforts slow
- Marine calls Leogane Haiti home
- Haiti earthquake relief update for February 7
- Army medics at work in Haiti relief effort
- Haiti earthquake relief funding update for February 14
- Keeping Haitians informed
- A tent means a lot to Haitian orphans
- Italian troops aid paras in Haiti rubble clearance
- Landslide in Haiti tests Special Ops rescuers
- Navy and Marines bridge Haitian divide from government
- Haitian earthquake relief – update for February 28
- Haitian earthquake update – March 4
- Air Guard Engineers Help Haitians
- Things are baaaaad in Haiti
This entry was posted on Monday, January 18th, 2010 at 9:00 am and is filed under Disasters, Medicine, Military. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.