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International Medical Corps, Hospital Damas and HURRA Partner to Respond to COVID-19 Surge

By on April 21, 2020

Emergency medical field units set up at Bayamón, Puerto Rico’s Hospital Universitario de Dr. Ramón Ruiz Arnau (HURRA) (Courtesy photo)

Emergency Medical Field Units, Equipment and Supplies Funded by AbbVie

SAN JUAN – As part of its global response to the Covid-19 pandemic, International Medical Corps is deploying emergency medical field units, personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical gear to Hospital Damas in Ponce, which serves the southern part of the island—still recovering from a series of earthquakes that occurred since January—and Hospital Universitario de Dr. Ramón Ruiz Arnau (HURRA) in Bayamón, which serves the island’s northern and central areas.

International Medical Corps is working with international health bodies, governments, ministries of health and community-based organizations to provide expertise, equipment, training, and triage and treatment services in response to the pandemic. It explained in a that its “response prioritizes areas where the disease has already spread or where healthcare systems—and, thus, populations—are particularly vulnerable.”

The International Medical Corps field units enable hospitals to expand the available triage and treatment space at existing facilities, improve patient flow and keep Covid-19 patients separated from other patients. Depending on the configuration chosen, the units enable a hospital to potentially treat hundreds of extra patients per day, and could include patient beds, medical examination supplies, portable sinks, power, lighting and HVAC units. These field units can be constructed in approximately six hours, be operational within 24 hours and withstand sustained winds of up to 80 miles per hour. Each hospital determines specifically how it intends to use the additional space and resources.

Hospital Damas plans to use the emergency medical field units to expand the capacity of its emergency department and improve patient management and flow. HURRA will use the field units to expand its capacity, as it has been designated as the area hospital to provide care to patients with Covid-19 who develop severe health complications and require hospital treatment.

The field units, equipment and supplies are funded by AbbVie, and will help increase capacity at overburdened hospitals throughout the U.S., where International Medical Corps plans a total of 20 deployments. Emergency medical field units are already in Los Angeles, New York, Detroit and Puerto Rico, with additional deployments planned in Detroit, Chicago, New Orleans and Boston.

Continuing its long-time collaboration with International Medical Corps\, FedEx has provided related logistical and shipping support to the nationwide effort, delivering the shelters and supplies as part of its FedEx Cares “Delivering for Good” initiative.

In addition, International Medical Corps also has activated its volunteer roster of nearly 300 medical professionals to provide medical surge capacity to hospitals around the country, to fill critical gaps in patient care, nursing, and infection prevention and control. It also is training existing hospital staff on preparedness, response and mental health needs as needed.

For more information about International Medical Corps’ global response to the pandemic, visit:

For more information about HURRA and the Puerto Rico Department of Health’s response, visit:

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