Community Paramedicine and Mobile Health, Coronavirus, Patient Care

Don’t be Fooled by the Outside Appearance of the San Diego-based Navy Hospital Ship USNS Mercy

The U.S. Navy hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) arrives in the Port of Los Angeles on Saturday. (Photo/U.S. Navy)

The San Diego-based USNS Mercy and the Norfolk-based USNS Comfort are ugly looking Super Tankers on the outside, but beautiful, state-of-the-art hospital “campuses” on the inside, decked out as well as any trauma center or specialty hospital facility I have ever been in.

Spacious, spotless and super-functional, these two optimal response vessels will help save the day (week) (month) while docked in LA and New York.

Watch the video and see why you will think that I, Dr. “Art Vandalay” (Pandemicologist and EMS Equipment Guru) spec’d out the interior of these floating masterpieces.

Here’s some of what inside them:

—  A staff of 1,200 Navy medical and communications personnel and more than 70 civil service marines, many who recieved specialized training here in San Diego at Strategic Operations where they train in a full replica ship/helicopter/ED/battlefield environment. (Built on the site of a former movie studio).

— Up to 5,000 units of blood;

— 12 State-of-the-Art operating rooms;

— 1,000 patient beds (Yes, 1,000 comfortable hispital  beds, not disaster tent/style beds) with plenty of vents.

— Intensive Care Units (Which will be expanded many times over during Pandemic deployment)

— 4 complete radiology suites;

— 2 massive oxygen-producing plants (Who says we don’t need or use O2 in the “field” (or on the water) any more?

— An awesome Isolation Ward ready for biological warfare or pandemic operations. (Note: These ships will not be used for norovirus patients but, if one sneaks through, they will be treated in their isolation wards)

Enjoy the video tour (and be amazed after) this USNS Mercy tour in 4K HD. (“Stay Classy San Diego!”)

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To experience the hyper-realistic training offered at Strategic Operations here in San Diego,  watch: https://youtu.be/dPC4dK3uFdE.