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Uncertainty As USNS Comfort Approaches Haiti

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By Sabri Ben-Achour

The relief effort in Haiti only continues to grow as supplies continue to work their way to those who need them. On board the U.S. Naval Ship Comfort, the plans keep changing.

Uncertainty has become a regular part of this mission, and plans are constantly changing as more information comes in about who needs what.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff announced Saturday that a 150-bed emergency medical facility would be opened in Guantanamo, and here aboard the Comfort the ranks will swell as 350 additional staff are flown in. It's become increasingly apparent that orthopedic surgery will be the top challenge for medical crews here.

"We're looking at 880 to 1,000 operations over a 45-day period, and primary care of about 40,000 patients," says Captain Jim Ware.

That will probably increase as time goes on. But another major goal will be to relieve relief workers and first responders who are exhausted or ill themselves.


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