When you prepare to depart on your cruise vacation, one of the most important issues you’ll want to make sure you’ve addressed is your health. While most cruise lines advertise that there are health professionals on board their ships – they often do not tell you that the ship’s doctors are rarely trained, licensed, or experienced in the United States and that bad medical care aboard cruise ships is a rampant problem. Fortunately, there are times when the shipboard medical staff recognize that they must call for a shipboard air evacuation. When this happens, the medical team aboard the cruise must then notify the Coast Guard, in order to have the patient flown to a hospital on shore.
While, in theory, this is not a difficult process, as a maritime law firm, we can confidently say that more often than not, the cruise line fails to call for a medivac and consequently, patients that could have been otherwise saved become doomed. Fortunately though, this is not aways the case.
A recent story out of Florida reminds us of this.
On Saturday, March 25th, 2017, a 52-year-old man was medevaced from the Carnival Elation. The man began suffering from stroke symptoms when the ship was roughly 18 miles outside of Jacksonville, Florida.
Within two hours of being notified, the Coast Guard was able to bring the man to a nearby hospital, where he was reported in stable condition. Currently, we do not have any more information regarding the outcome of this event. However, we are grateful that the proper authorities were contacted and, in this situation, able to successfully complete their task of safely bringing the patient to shore.
However, any maritime lawyer on our team can attest to the fact that medical air evacuation is more often the exception – rather than the rule. Too often, we hear stories of cruise lines failing to follow proper protocol, placing the patient in further jeopardy. When it comes to your health, you should not have to worry about whether or not the cruise will look after you, it should simply be understood that they will.
Your Health Is A Major Concern
While you can do your best to ensure that you’re in good health before setting out on your vacation, health scares can strike when you least expect them. In many situations, people who believe they are perfectly healthy are burdened with the most unexpected issues while aboard their cruise. It can make a world of difference to know that, should something go wrong, you do not have to face the repercussions alone.
So, if you have been injured aboard a cruise ship, or know someone who has, you can trust that we are here to help. Our team has handled a wide variety of cruise ship accident and injury cases. We’ll listen to your story, help you understand what to do after your illness or injury, and work together for a brighter future.