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USNS Comfort leaves Virginia to help in Puerto Rico

Posted at 3:06 PM, Sep 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-29 15:06:50-04

NORFOLK, Va. – The Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort left Norfolk on Friday to head to Puerto Rico to support relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, WTKR reported. The ship departed with 522 medical personnel and support staff, along with 70 civil service mariners.

The medical personnel included a full spectrum of medical care including general practice, family medicine, nephrology, and pediatrics, according to the Navy.

USNS Comfort is one of two Mercy-class hospital ships.

It has one of the largest trauma facilities and when activated can transition to full operating status in five days, which includes a crew of civil service mariners, Navy medical personnel.

The ship maintains 5,000 units of blood and has up to a 1,000 bed capacity.

The hospital is equipped with four X-ray machines, one CAT scan unit, a dental suite, an optometry and lens laboratory, physical therapy center, pharmacy, angiography suite, and two oxygen-producing plants.

The Comfort has previously been sent as relief for Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, providing treatment to 1,500 people.

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