- Colorado judge strikes voter-backed gay marriage ban, but issues stay
- Brooklyn Bridge flag-swapping suspects identified by nickname
- Christian woman in Sudan spared for apostasy flies to Italy
- Iraq: 60 dead in attack on prisoner convoy
- Marco Rubio: U.S. at social, moral crossroads
- ‘We’re coming for you, Barack Obama’: Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL
- White flags baffle NYPD: ‘We’re lucky it wasn’t a bomb’
- N.Y. Gov. Cuomo’s office interfered with, pressured corruption commission: report
- Brit lawmaker: I would fire on Israel if I lived in Gaza
- VA apologizes to forgotten Marine veteran locked in Fla. clinic, forced to call 911
War casualties overflow Walter Reed hospital
Question of the Day
Officials at Walter Reed Army Medical Center are referring some outpatients to nearby hotels because casualties from operations in Afghanistan and Iraq have overloaded the hospital’s convalescence facility.
“We have an informal agreement with any number of hotels in the area. If we come to this point, they will take [patients] for us,” said Walter Reed spokesman Jim Stueve. “They’re very supportive and cooperative when we need that assistance.”
Mr. Stueve could not specify how many soldiers are in hotels, but said Walter Reed is referring about 20 patients or their relatives to hotels each day. Hotels in Silver Spring, just across the D.C. line, offer discounted rates for outpatients and their families, and the military pays the bill.
However, the hotel arrangement has not compromised the quality of care for incoming wounded, Mr. Stueve said.
“The staff is highly motivated to get these troops mended and on their way,” he said.
A hospital spokeswoman said: “We haven’t turned away any injured soldiers. We are treating all of them.”
The Army hospital and its convalescence facility, Mologne House, are at maximum occupancy capacity, with 96 percent of their outpatient beds filled with war wounded.
Walter Reed has been at maximum capacity since Operation Enduring Freedom began in Afghanistan in 2001, Mr. Stueve said, adding that the hospital’s 3,900 staffers have “put in a substantial amount of overtime.”
Before Enduring Freedom, the hospital’s occupancy rate had held steady at 83 percent for five years.
“We haven’t been average here for well over a year. We’ve been really busy. They’ve been rolling in here real regular,” Mr. Stueve said.
The Mologne House is a 280-bed facility for outpatients who need continued care or rehabilitation, as well as their families.
“Anybody who comes here and wants to stay there can’t,” said a hospital spokeswoman.
The hospital has 40 of 250 beds available for inpatients, but must continually open beds for new arrivals from Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany or the U.S. Naval Hospital in Rota, Spain.
“We have flights coming in almost every night from Landstuhl, so you don’t book that sucker up solid so when you have your No. 1 priority come in, you say, ‘You can’t stay here,’” Mr. Stueve said.
The subsidies are a hit with patients who don't exist
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- House task force to recommend National Guard on border, faster deportations
- EDITORIAL: Poor Hillary, rock-star wannabe
- Netanyahu's Wikipedia page replaced with giant Palestinian flag
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Hezbollah in Syria could join fight against Israel
- Hamas orders civilians to die in Israeli airstrikes
- Democratic Sen. John Walsh plagiarized War College master's thesis: report
- CARSON: Costco and the perils of mixing politics and business
- FIELDS: A tale of a boy, a Bible and a gun
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq