Hospital ship off Puerto Rico sits mostly idle 2 weeks after its arrival

October 20, 2017

In Puerto Rico, clinics that are overwhelmed with patients and staff say they don’t even know how to begin sending cases to the USNS Comfort, a hospital ship anchored off Puerto Rico, according to an article on the KTLA website.

Only 33 of the 250 beds on the Comfort — 13 percent — are being used, nearly two weeks after the ship arrived.

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the official protocol is for patients in need to go to their nearest medical facility. If that facility is unable to provide care, a doctor there should contact the medical coordinating center in San Juan.

Someone there will then determine whether a patient needs to be transferred to a hospital on the island and which one. 

In some cases, a determination will be made to transfer a patient to the US Army Combat Support Hospital in Humacao, which has 44 beds and has been operational since Sunday. The remaining option is for patients to be transferred to the Comfort.

Read the article.



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