Hospital ship USNS Comfort leaves Norfolk for Puerto Rico

NORFOLK, Va. - The Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort will left Norfolk on Friday to head

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ATLANTIC OCEAN (Feb. 23, 2017) The Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) transits the Atlantic Ocean.  (U.S. Navy photo by Bill Mesta/Released)

to Puerto Rico to support relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

The ship departed with 522 medical personnel and support staff, along with 70 civil service mariners.

The Navy says the medical personnel will include a full spectrum of medical care including general practice, family medicine, nephrology, and pediatrics.

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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