Hospital Ship USNS Comfort – Relief Mission to Haiti –

Hospital Ship USNS Comfort – Relief Mission to Haiti –

By Dialogo
April 27, 2010

Hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) deployed to Haiti January 20 to March 10, 2010, in support of USSOUTHCOM’s Operation Unified Response to provide immediate and critical medical care to survivors of the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that devastated much of the Caribbean nation January 12. The ship departed Baltimore January 16 and arrived in Haiti January 20, where the crew contributed to U.S. relief efforts led by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). *I. About Comfort’s relief mission:* _Mission:_ Comfort was sent to Haiti to provide critical medical care to those affected by the 7.0-earthquake that struck Haiti January 12, 2010, in order to help alleviate human suffering and save lives in the immediate aftermath of the devastating disaster. _Deployment Dates:_ Comfort departed Baltimore January 16th and arrived off the coast of Haiti just after midnight January 20th. Comfort completed her mission in Haiti March 10th and departed Haiti on its eventual return to its homeport in Baltimore. *Crew (Embarked):* A cumulative total of more than 1,400 military and civilian personnel were part of Comfort’s crew during the mission, including more than 1,200 during the peak of the ship’s humanitarian operations. Comfort’s crew included more than 700 military and civilian medical personnel. *Medical Team Onboard:* U.S. military and civilian doctors, nurses, corpsmen, technicians and support staff provided a host of medical services to include primary care, trauma care, pediatric care and orthopedic care. *Family Members and Escorts:*Patients who were escorted on board Comfort by a family member or friend were permitted to remain on board while loved ones received treatment. There were a total of 185 escorts who were provided beds, food and other amenities. *Follow-Care:* Comfort donated 218 pallets of donated and excess medical supplies to support the medical supply needs to USAID. By the time COMFORT departed there were more than 160 new sites (fixed sites and mobile clinics) where primary care was provided by 55 international non-governmental organizations (NGO). *Relief Mission Data:* • Total patients treated: 1,025 • Date first patients were received: On January 19th, two patients were transferred to Comfort from the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) • Highest number of patients on board: 411 on January 28th • Total surgeries performed: 862 • Total Haitian patients referred to U.S. for further treatment: 77 • Total babies born aboard: 9 *Host Nation Participation: *The crew of Comfort worked in cooperation with Haiti’s Ministry of Health, in support of USAID and alongside healthcare providers from the international community, non-governmental organizations (NGO) and the government of Haiti. *NGO Participation: *More than 240 volunteers from: • American Red Cross • Project Hope • Operation Smile • Orthopedic Trauma Association • National Nurses United • University of Michigan • Johns Hopkins Emergency Medicine • University of California, Los Angeles • Military translators: 65 • American Red Cross volunteer translators: 104 *Translator Support:* Comfort translators maintained a patient hotline where friends and relatives could obtain information on the status of patients aboard the ship. The translators took more than 130 calls, placed more than 190 calls, and facilitated 18 reunions aboard the ship. *II *. *About USNS COMFORT :* A converted San Clemente-class supertanker, Comfort was delivered to the Navy’s Military Sealift Command December 1, 1987. This is the third ship to bear the name – previous Comforts served during the world wars. A crew of about 70 civil service mariners operate and navigate the ship while Navy medical personnel and their partners staff the shipboard hospital. • Length: 894 feet • Beam: 106 feet • Speed: 17.5 knots • Displacement (full): 69,360 long tons • Medical facilities: The hospital has a full spectrum of surgical and medical services including four X-rays, one CAT-scan unit, a dental suite, an optometry and lens laboratory, a physical therapy center, a pharmacy, an invasive angiography suite, two oxygen-producing plants, 12 operating rooms, and 40 intensive care units. Embarked Helicopters for this Mission: Two MH-60S Seahawk helicopters *III . Prior assistance to Haiti:* _Continuing Promise 2009_ – USNS Comfort previously deployed to Port-au-Prince, Haiti for 12 days in April 2009, as part of Operation Continuing Promise 2009 -- a four-month humanitarian and civic assistance deployment to seven countries (including Haiti) in the Caribbean, Central and South America. During the Haiti mission, Comfort’s medical staff treated 6,731 patients, performed 161 surgeries, and filled 15,504 prescriptions. _(Current as of 23 April 2010)_
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