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The Makeshift Hospital
Author: TriSec    Date: 04/04/2020 19:45:48

IF you called 911 right now, what hospital would you go to?

LIke many of us here in the densely-populated Northeast Megalopolis, you've no doubt got multiple choices within a ten-minute drive or so.

You know where I am. Despite my constant "Chekoving" of Boston, there is some justification for our global prominence in the medical field.

Never mind the research and development aspect; Boston has no less than 20 hospitals within city limits, working out to one for every 34,000 residents or so. Not all of them are acute care, but you get the idea.

Given the 302,000 confirmed cases in the US, against our population of 327.2 million, the rate of infection is vanishingly small, a mere 9.229828850855746e-4 % (I"m not good on scientific notation, but I beieve that is .00009%)

That would seem to play out locally; we have 1,366 confirmed cases for .001%. Seems like we should have plenty of beds then, no?

Well - no. Given the current paranoic state, everyone with a cough suddenly "has the virus". And since it's illness and not law, we must declare everyone "guilty until proven innocent", for the safety of all. These are the people that are landing in the hospital, sometimes for many days, for now-ordinary influenza or other maladies that wouldn't even rate a phone call in the before-time.

Those 34,000 people per hospital here in this city have put a tremendous strain on our resources, not to mention people that were already here before this happened from all around the world seeking treatment.

Boston is working on converting the massive Boston Convention and Exhibition Center into a giant field hospital. (New York is already using the Javits Center.) Mid-State, the city of Worcester, MA has already converted the DCU Center for their anticipated needs.

But does it have to be that way? The whole term the media has seized upon - "Makeshift Hospital", makes this sound like a third-world response. There are some additional resources out there, but they require national leadership to make use of.

Remember that hospital ship that was sent to New York City with much fanfare and self-congratulation from President Poopyhead? Turns out it's being horribly under-utilized, and today there's word that it may have just been accidentally contaminated. (Warning: Fox News link.)

EXCLUSIVE - Multiple patients infected with coronavirus were transferred to the hospital ship Comfort from the Javits Center in New York by mistake, three U.S. officials tell Fox News.

The number of Covid-19 patients brought on board the hospital ship was estimated to be “less than five,” one official said.

This information has not been previously reported.

The patients were transferred sometime Friday, according to the officials. At the time the patients were transferred to the hospital ship Comfort, the initial screening did not indicate they were positive, officials said.

The hospital ship is located on Pier 90 on Manhattan’s west side and arrived in New York Monday. The vessel has a “couple dozen” patients on board right now, according to chief Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman.

Part of the protocol before receiving patients onboard Comfort is for a coronavirus test to be performed. The swab test came back hours later, the patients remained in isolation and spent a night onboard the vessel, which is only supposed to treat trauma patients, not Covid-19 positive patients.

Going back to our own Worcester, there's two national resources that could be deployed to provide relief. Both the 399th and the 405th Combat Support Hospital are based nearby. So why haven't they been activated?

That is the $64,000 question, isn't it? There's 8 active duty, and 14 reserve Combat Support Hospitals strategically placed around the United States. How useful might they be in a crisis?

The size of a combat support hospital is not limited, since tents can be chained together; it will typically deploy with between 44 and 248 hospital beds, with 44 beds being most common (ATP 4.02-5 Casualty Care, May 2013) For patient care the CSH is climate-controlled, and has pharmacy, laboratory, X-Ray (often including a CT Scanner) and dental capabilities (ATP 4-02.5 Casualty Care, May 2013). It provides its own power from generators.

The great operational advantage of the deployable medical systems (DEPMEDS) facility is the use of single or double expanding ISO containers or units to create hard-sided, air conditioned, sterile operating rooms and intensive care facilities, which can produce surgical outcomes similar to that seen in fixed facility hospitals, and do so in an austere environment.

I've got to go back to something I wrote in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. If we can't take care of our own people, can we even call ourselves a 'superpower' anymore?


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