USNS Comfort off Coast of Port-au-PrinceFebruary 8-22, 2010
Please note: Patients' faces have been concealed on this page in order to protect their privacy.
We were anchored off shore. I believe we did 815 major cases in four weeks. We took many patients from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the field. We had specialty orthopedic trauma surgeons with us and did many crushed backs, legs, and arms. We also had plastic surgeons and neurosurgeons. We had a heliport on the deck and could take patients from the field quickly. I think the field hospitals utilized us well, and we routinely went out to see if we could support them. We were fortunate to have a great blood supply; excellent anesthesia machines; and endless oxygen and nitrous oxide. We were capable of running 11 operating rooms, (four at night). We also had a 50/50 ratio of physicians and CRNAs. Both physicians and CRNAs worked independently. The patients were very low on hemoglobin and hematocrit (H and H) by the time they arrived. We had a great intensive care unit (ICU), and were capable of taking on 1,000 patients! Most of the anesthesia providers were there either through Project Hope or the military.
View of the USNS Comfort.
Ronald Wegner, CRNA, ARNP, with a Young Patient and his Father
"I put him to sleep numerous times for the amputations of his right arm and right leg, his fractured left ankle, and facial injuries. He was the poster boy for smiles and attitude on the ship...he never complained."