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The Health Show: USNS Comfort, Part 1
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The Health Show: USNS Comfort, Part 1
As part of a five month humanitarian trip, the USNS Comfort hospital ship is bringing medical relief and surgical care to local communities in Central America. Surgeries are performed on the ship, and primary care evaluations are carried out on shore.
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Produced by Rockhopper TV.

Originally broadcast as part of The Health Show.

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Segment 1

TITLE
The Health Show
VOICEOVER
This is the US Navy at work: A powerful ship, with hundreds of highly trained officers. But this is not a military operation. This crew of military doctors and nurses are part of "Continuing Promise 2011", a five month long humanitarian mission. Their vessel, the USNS Comfort, is a hospital ship bringing medical relief and surgical care to local communities in Central America.
CAPTAIN WILLIAM TODD [Director of Surgical Services, USNS Comfort]
We're here to make patients better, and when our patients come to see us, they're looking to make their lives a little bit easier. And we do that for hundreds and hundreds of people over the course of our mission.
VOICEOVER
Here in Guatemala, at the crack of dawn, doctors, health workers, and nurses head to shore. They've set up temporary medical sites in nearby villages.
CAPTAIN WILLIAM TODD
The mission itself is divided upon what we do on the ship, which is primarily surgery, and what we do off the ship, which is primary care. Now there's medical care, dental care, optometry.
VOICEOVER
People who need surgery are transferred onto the ship. Ten-year-old Carlos Ventura has been longing for this opportunity.
CARLOS VENTURA
I burned my feet when I ran into a bonfire seven years ago. It hurts me to be like this. The doctor told me he will make the top of my foot flat again, that I'll be able to move my feet.
VOICEOVER
For Carlos's mom, Maria Elena, it's a dream come true.
MARIA ELENA
It is a great joy for me to know that his feet will grow normally now. I have prayed to God for this opportunity, I thought it would never come.
VOICEOVER
A former oil tanker, the USNS Comfort is over 270 meters long and 32 meters wide. It's as tall as a ten-story building. Its primary role is to provide medical support for the US military in times of war.
CAPTAIN WILLIAM TODD
The entire ship is designed around 12 operating rooms; the ship is a floating set of operating rooms.
VOICEOVER
The pharmacy stores one and a half million doses of medicine, to treat up to 100,000 patients. The ship carries one of only two floating CT scanners in the world.
CAPTAIN WILLIAM TODD
The technology that we have here is very, very good, because when you have this image preoperatively, it allows you to do a very good job of preoperative planning.
VOICEOVER
Carlos is now in the operating theater. His much-awaited surgery has started. It's a five-hour procedure. Doctors remove skin from his hip to replace damaged tissue and free his muscles. With proper aftercare, Carlos will be able to move his feet again.
CAPTAIN WILLIAM TODD
We want to do surgeries that are just life, family, and community-changing surgeries. For that, primarily we're dealing with surgeries that affect function and affect your overall appearance.
VOICEOVER
Throughout their mission, the surgeons perform over a thousand procedures like this.
CAPTAIN WILLIAM TODD
I sought out to come on these missions because I believe very greatly on what we're doing as far as getting to these individuals, and the immense satisfaction that you get from knowing that you are helping somebody that has no other recourse many times. That is something that is very, very heartwarming.