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Fleet Hospital 8 Opens Larger Hospital

Navy NewStand

Story Number: NNS030409-17
Release Date: 4/9/2003 5:18:00 PM

By Journalist Chief (SW) Dan Smithyman, Naval Station Rota, Spain Public Affairs

ROTA, Spain (NNS) -- Fleet Hospital (FH) 8, currently deployed to Naval Station (NAVSTA), Rota, Spain, continues to receive more casualties from Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom while new staff members construct a larger 250-bed field hospital.

The Bremerton, Wash.-based FH-8 initially built a 116-bed facility that opened for business Feb. 24 to handle combat casualties, but military officials believed it sensible to expand the hospital's capabilities as more casualties arrive.

"In a war, there are going to be casualties," said Capt. Pat Kelly, commanding officer of the hospital. "We're preparing to have more, which is just prudent."

As of April 9, 158 members of the American military have been treated at this field hospital. The hospital has seen 67 combat wounded from Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom since the hospital began taking wounded March 26, when five combat wounded and two non-combat wounded were taken to NAVSTA Rota, Spain, from medical facilities located in Kuwait.

The new hospital, built of the same type modular tent units as the 116-bed, has 18 wings and covers more than 36,000 square feet. It also includes three operating rooms, seven wards and four intensive care units. The entire hospital compound, including living spaces for the staff, dining facility and support areas covers 42 acres.

Wounded were transferred from the 116-bed hospital facility to the brand new 250-bed hospital April 9.

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