What to know about the Navy hospital ships coming to New York and California

(NEW YORK) — To help medical professionals focus on treating novel coronavirus patients, the Navy has deployed two hospital ships, to New York and to California, that will be used to treat people suffering from other ailments.

The United States Naval Ships Mercy and Comfort each are 894-foot vessels stocked with life-saving equipment.

As of Thursday, California had almost 800 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and New York State had over 30,000, including more than 17,000 in the five boroughs.

The USNS Mercy’s medical treatment facility has a medical crew, officials said, from the “Navy’s Bureau of Medicine and Surgery responsible for operating and maintaining one of the largest trauma facilities in the United States.”

USNS Mercy left San Diego for Los Angeles earlier this week, and USNS Comfort will head to New York Harbor from Norfolk, Virginia, by March 31.

What’s inside these floating hospitals?

  • Up to 1,200 Navy medical and communications personnel and more than 70 civil service mariners.
  • Up to 5,000 unit of blood
  • 12 fully equipped operating rooms
  • 1,000 patient beds
  • 8 Intensive Care Unit beds
  • 4 radiology suites
  • 2 oxygen-producing plants
  • 1 isolation ward

Both ships also are equipped with digital radiological services, a medical laboratory, a pharmacy, an optometry lab and a CAT scan. They also have a helicopter deck capable of landing large helicopters and side ports to take on patients at sea.

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