Do Cruises Have Hospitals to Treat Medical Emergencies?

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    Do Cruises Have Hospitals to Treat Medical Emergencies?

    Getting injured while on a cruise can turn a vacation into a nightmare. Should you experience a medical emergency on a cruise, it is important to know if you will be able to access medical attention on board.

    Although cruise ships do not have full-fledged hospitals on board, they do have small medical facilities that can provide passengers with care in case of a medical emergency. If visiting this facility is your only option to get immediate medical care, go right away. When the vessel docks at a port, visit the nearest hospital. Upon getting home, go to another hospital close to you to get further confirmation of your injuries. We can then obtain the necessary medical records from each medical facility you visited to use in your claim for compensation following a cruise ship accident.

    To have our cruise ship injury lawyers evaluate your case for free, call (305) 204-5369 and speak with the team at Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. today.

    Do Cruise Ships Have Hospitals to Treat Medical Emergencies?

    Because of the frequency of accidents on cruises and the possibility of other medical emergencies, cruise ships typically have medical staff on board to treat passengers in need of immediate care.

    Cruise ships do not have hospitals. Instead, they have medical teams, usually comprised of a doctor and several nurses. Medical care facilities on cruises are limited, and medical staff cannot access all of the equipment that is available in a hospital.

    That said, medical staff aboard a cruise may be able to stabilize you and treat your injuries if a medical crisis occurs. If the ship is not stopped at a destination along its route when you are injured, seek care from the medical staff on board. Such care may be sufficient until the ship is docked and you can safely visit a hospital.

    If you are experiencing a severe medical emergency and the staff on board the cruise is not equipped to provide you with the level of care you need, you might be medically evacuated. Depending on the situation, the cruise might divert its course to reach the nearest port, or you might be medically evacuated by air. If medical evacuation is advised in your case, do not refuse, as doing so might impede your access to compensation in the future.

    The Types of Medical Facilitates Onboard Cruise Ships

    Cruise ships do have medical centers staffed with trained medical professionals to address medical emergencies. However, these facilities are generally equipped to provide basic medical care and stabilization, and more serious cases may require evacuation to a shore-based hospital.

    Cruise Ship “Medical Centers”

    Cruise ships are equipped with medical facilities designed to address medical emergencies that may arise during a voyage. These facilities are typically referred to as “medical centers” rather than hospitals.

    Cruise ship medical centers are staffed by licensed medical personnel, such as doctors and nurses, who are trained to handle a wide range of medical emergencies. These professionals can diagnose and treat common medical conditions, injuries, and illnesses that passengers or crew members may experience while on board.

    Treatment Capabilities

    While cruise ship medical centers can provide immediate care for common ailments and injuries, they are typically not equipped to handle complex or major medical procedures. Accordingly, in cases involving severe injuries or illnesses, medical personnel will attempt to stabilize patients and provide initial treatment before evacuating them to a shore-based facility.

    Common Services

    Despite their treatment limitations, medical centers on cruise ships can still offer a range of services to address passengers’ and crew members’ health needs. For instance, staff at these centers are prepared to administer first aid and wound care. Additionally, they often provide prescription medications, evaluate and manage seasickness, address gastrointestinal issues, and handle allergic reactions as required. These comprehensive services can help ensure a quick and effective response to various medical concerns.

    Emergency Evacuations

    In cases where patients’ injuries or illnesses are too severe to be addressed in onboard medical centers, cruise ships have protocols in place for emergency evacuations. An emergency evacuation involves transferring the individual to a hospital on land as quickly as possible, typically by arranging for an airlift or coordinating with the nearest port.

    Suspicions of Inadequate Medical Care

    If you have concerns that your medical condition was not properly addressed by cruise ship staff, our cruise ship accident and injury attorneys are prepared to help. We can provide thorough guidance on your road to recovery. Furthermore, we can review your potential claim for compensation and identify the appropriate course of action.

    What to Do if You Suffered a Medical Emergency on a Cruise Ship

    After suffering a medical emergency on a cruise ship, there are steps you can take to address your injury and advance your potential claim. These actions may vastly improve your chances of recovering compensation from another party:

    Report the Accident

    If you have suffered an injury on a cruise ship, it important to report the accident promptly to the ship’s crew or personnel. Be sure to provide a detailed account of how and where the injury occurred, then request that an incident report is filed. This action not only ensures that the cruise line is made aware of the accident but also creates an official record of the accident.

    Visit the Medical Center that is Available and Clearly Tell Them That You Have a Medical Emergency

    Also, your well-being should be a top priority when you’ve suffered an injury on a cruise ship. Seek immediate medical attention for your injury by visiting the ship’s medical center. The center should be equipped with medical professionals who can provide a diagnosis and administer initial treatment.
    Even seemingly minor injuries should not be ignored, as they can sometimes have delayed or hidden complications. Seeking medical care not only ensures your health but also establishes official documentation of your injuries.

    Gather Evidence from the Scene

    While still on the cruise ship and if it’s safe to do so, gather evidence from the scene of the accident. This can include taking photographs or videos of the area where the incident occurred. Pay particular attention to documenting any hazardous conditions or factors that may have contributed to your injury. The more detailed your documentation, the better it can serve as evidence for your claim.

    Furthermore, you should attempt to obtain contact information from anyone who may have witnessed your accident. Eyewitnesses can offer both written and oral testimonies that explain how or why your accident occurred. Our legal team can help when reaching out to witnesses for their possible cooperation.

    Is it a Good Idea Go to a Cruise Ship Hospital to Treat a Medical Emergency?

    Because cruise ships do not have full hospitals on board, people experiencing medical emergencies or those who have become injured might think it best to wait to get treatment until they can reach a hospital. This is often inadvisable.

    The medical teams aboard cruise ships are often the closest option for treating an injury or other medical emergency. If you are experiencing a medical crisis of any kind, do not wait to get treatment, especially if the cruise line is responsible for your injury. Even though it might not be a hospital, visiting the medical facility aboard the cruise will be important in establishing your injuries.

    If you are docked at a port, go to the closest medical facility, even if it is in a foreign country. This will likely allow you to get more comprehensive medical treatment for your physical injuries, depending on the location of the hospital and its resources.

    After you get home from your trip, go to a hospital near you. Doing this can confirm your injuries and expand your medical records regarding an incident.

    If going to the onboard medical facility of a cruise is your only option to receive immediate medical attention, go. Waiting to get care could undermine your claim if you plan on suing the cruise line for your damages. If the vessel does not have a medical facility on board, inform our cruise ship injury lawyers. Not providing access to medical treatment, even if it is only temporary medical treatment, might be in breach of a cruise line’s duty of care to passengers. Furthermore, if the medical staff employed by the cruise line acted negligently in treating you, worsening your injuries, you might be able to file a separate claim for compensatory damages.

    Can You Be Evacuated to a Foreign Hospital After a Medical Emergency on a Cruise Ship?

    In the event of a medical emergency on a cruise ship, U.S. citizens may be evacuated to foreign hospitals, depending on the ship’s location and the severity of the medical condition. Cruise ships often travel to international waters and visit foreign ports of call, which means that the nearest available medical facility may be in a foreign country.

    Receiving care at a foreign hospital can have legal implications, including differences in medical practices, insurance coverage, and potential challenges in pursuing legal claims. Fortunately, the experienced team at our firm can help victims navigate these complexities and protect their interests.

    Obtaining Records from a Cruise Ship After a Medical Emergency

    If you went to the medical facility on board a cruise to get emergency medical care, it is important to obtain those records. Such medical documentation can strengthen your claim against a cruise company for negligence.

    Any medical records detailing your injuries are yours, so you should be able to access them upon request. That said, the medical staff aboard the vessel works for the cruise company, so even though they should be focused on your care, they might be somewhat interested in protecting the cruise line, and possibly themselves, from liability. If you have difficulty obtaining the necessary medical records from the medical staff aboard the cruise ship, our lawyers can subpoena them.

    We can also obtain records of your medical treatment from a foreign hospital if you received care from a medical facility while docked in another country. Coupled with medical records detailing the continued treatment you received after returning home, such documentation can help establish the severity of your injuries and the extent of the medical emergency you experienced.

    This will be important when seeking compensation from a cruise company. Proving that you have sustained injuries will be half of the battle, as you must also prove that the cruise line caused your injuries. This can be done by presenting other proof of negligence, such as photographs, witness statements, and security camera footage. Obtaining such evidence following an accident on a ship can be challenging, which is why filing your claim as soon as possible will be important.

    Call Our Lawyers About Your Cruise Ship Accident Today

    In the aftermath of an injury on a cruise ship, it’s crucial that you seek help from the team at our firm. We will help you navigate the complex legal process, assess the viability of your claim for compensation, and advocate fiercely on your behalf. To get a free case assessment from Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A., call our boat accident lawyers now at (305) 204-5369.

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