USNS COMFORT’s NYC COVID-19 mission. CAPT Brian Bloom, MC, USN joined Compass Medical in November 2019 and played a significant role in launching our new Pulmonary Department while retaining his commission in the US Navy Reserves.
At 10 PM on March 22nd, CAPT Bloom received orders to deploy with the USNS COMFORT on its mission to support the hospital system of New York City. He packed his seabag and was aboard the hospital ship in Norfolk, VA, three days later. Soon after sailing to its berth on the Hudson, the COMFORT, configured in 1987 to care for wounded Soldiers and Marines, began to accept COVID-19 patients. Alongside the rest of the 1200 crew members, Dr. Bloom worked on average 13 hours a day, every day. In his little “downtime,” he would have to continue to practice social distancing until his next shift. By April 7th, his sole pulmonary/critical care colleague fell ill to the virus. That evening when the oxygen systems of Jamaica Hospital in Queens failed, CAPT Bloom worked through the night and the next day to accept 12 COVID-19 patients with multi-system organ failure who required ventilator support and ICU care.
Fortunately, except for that night, the hospital system of NYC was never overwhelmed, and the COMFORT was able to return to Norfolk a few weeks later. By the end of the mission, CAPT Bloom had cared for over 40 critically ill COVID-19 patients with a mortality rate far below that of local health systems.
After a month of serving his country and the citizens of New York, his required quarantine in Virginia, then again in Massachusetts, Dr. Bloom returns home safely. We are happy and excited to welcome Dr. Bloom back to his work at Compass Medical on May 13th in our Easton office. Please join us in congratulating and thanking Dr. Bloom for his service and for being a hero on the front lines of this pandemic.