Navy’s hospital ships have treated fewer than 20 patients


A military services officer next to the USNS Comfort Navy clinic ship found at Pier 90 to treatment for individuals not relevant to Covic-19 on March 31, 2020 in New York Metropolis.

Pablo Monsalve | Getty Pictures

WASHINGTON — The captains of the U.S. Navy’s two clinic ships claimed Thursday that the vessels have taken care of much less than 20 patients considering the fact that deploying to New York and Los Angeles in an work to ease the strain on nearby hospitals.

The USNS Mercy, the to start with of the twin healthcare facility ships to deploy, arrived in Los Angeles final 7 days and has considering that addressed 15 sufferers. 

“We’re listed here in support of FEMA in the point out of California so we are all set to respond to whichever the need sign is. And if that desire sign ramps up, we’ll undoubtedly be completely ready to accommodate that,” U.S. Navy Capt. John Rotruck, the commanding officer of the USNS Mercy, informed Pentagon reporters via telephone.

Rotruck extra that Mercy’s crew has still to execute any surgical procedures onboard but has currently treated a wide variety of injuries. 

“Persons who have been in traumatic incidents who are now recovering, people with gastrointestinal and coronary heart and lung difficulties. So very a lot the gamut of sufferers that you’d count on to see in a local community medical center,” he explained.

Hospitalman Jeremiah Lewis, from San Antonio, organizes medical materials aboard the Armed service Sealift Command clinic ship USNS Mercy off the coastline of southern California March 24, 2020.

Mass Communication Expert 2nd Class Ryan Breeden | US Navy

The Ease and comfort, which arrived in New York City on Monday from its home port in Norfolk, Virginia, obtained its very first affected person on Wednesday. Thus considerably, the Consolation has addressed a whole of three sufferers.

The latest revelation came Thursday as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whose state is at the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, reported a complete of 92,381 coronavirus cases so significantly.

When questioned why the vessels hadn’t been given additional referrals presented the capacity of each ship, U.S. Navy Capt. Patrick Amersbach, the commanding officer of the USNS Consolation, mentioned he could not speculate if there was a hold off and what the cause could be. 

“The system proceeds and we are honestly seeking forward to observing a important enhance in patients staying transferred to the Comfort,” he reported, including that each affected individual will have to be referred to the vessel by a regional medical center.

The twin vessels, at the moment tasked to receive non-coronavirus clients, may perhaps deploy to other coastal towns, like New Orleans, as coronavirus scenarios all around the nation rise.

“We are in a consistent condition of readiness to do whatever mission that our higher officials check with of us. So, the challenge of us when relocating would just be furnishing a protected disposition for all the patients that are presently on board the ship. And once we carry out that we could leave in fairly quick order,” Rotruck said, introducing that the movement would be at the course of FEMA.

The military’s floating lifesavers

The clinic ship USNS Mercy navigates along with the aircraft provider USS Abraham Lincoln right after arriving on station in the vicinity of Banda Aceh, Sumamtra, Indonesia, February 3, 2005.

Gabriel R. Piper | Reuters | US Navy

The vessels, which were transformed from hulking oil tankers into 1,000-mattress hospital ships, are virtually a few soccer fields extensive and 10 stories high, building them indisputably the most significant medical center ships in the environment.

Equally ships have aspect ports to just take on people at sea as properly as helicopter decks for air transport. The ships are so substantial, each would be tantamount to the fourth-biggest clinic in the United States.

The USNS Mercy and USNS Comfort are equipped with 12 functioning rooms, a blood financial institution, a health care laboratory, a pharmacy, an optometry lab and a CAT scan.

 Both vessels have 15 affected person wards, 80 ICU beds and 10 elevators to transfer patients among decks. 


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