Being on a cruise vacation can be a thrilling experience, and the last thing you're probably thinking about is getting sick or injured while on your trip. Unfortunately, unexpected injuries and illnesses happen all the time - even on vacation. This makes having appropriate healthcare services onboard crucial to ensure passenger safety and wellbeing.
However, just like land-based medical practices, circumstances arise where these healthcare professionals may not provide the standard of care required or expected. When this happens, it could be considered medical negligence or malpractice.
In this post, we'll dive deeper into the issue of medical malpractice on cruise ships – what it means, how it can occur on cruise ships, and what you should do if you become a victim.
What Exactly is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when healthcare professionals provide treatment that falls below accepted industry standards, leading to harm or injury for their patient. When this occurs, you can file a medical malpractice claim seeking compensation.
Examples of Medical Issues on Cruise Ships
As a prospective traveler, it's essential for you to be aware of the potential risks and issues related to your health that may arise while you're on a cruise ship. Some examples include:
Injuries from Slips and Falls
Although not directly health issues, slips and falls due to potential hazards, like wet and slippery decks, could result in injuries like fractures, sprains, or concussions, requiring immediate medical attention.
Randomly Occurring Illnesses
Passengers might face natural health issues during the vacation too - things like an abrupt cardiac event, acute appendicitis, or kidney stones - requiring diagnosis and quick and effective treatment plans from the onboard physicians.
Recognizing the potential health issues that can occur on a cruise ship is the first step in ensuring your safety. It's critical to know how these issues can lead to medical malpractice and what steps to take and who you should contact if you experience any of these or similar troubles while aboard.
Examples of Medical Malpractice on Cruise Ships
Medical malpractice aboard cruise ships occurs when there is substandard care provided to a patient, causing further harm. Here’s how medical malpractice could occur in the context of common cruise ship conditions:
Medical Malpractice Resulting From Food Poisoning
If you report symptoms like vomiting, stomach cramps, or a fever that suggest food poisoning and the medical professional dismisses your condition as just seasickness without completing an appropriate evaluation, this could develop into severe dehydration or even kidney problems. This misdiagnosis could end up being considered medical malpractice.
Medical Malpractice Resulting From Appendicitis
Failure to correctly diagnose defining symptoms of appendicitis is another case where negligence could occur. Delayed diagnosis could lead to developing life-threatening complications like a burst appendix if left unmanaged. If it is determined that the delayed diagnosis was due to substandard care, a medical malpractice case could follow.
Medical Malpractice From Mismanaging Slip and Fall Injuries
With injuries stemming from slips and falls, proper management is key. A common issue like sprained wrists or ankles could escalate to severe chronic pain or significant difficulties with movement if not treated appropriately.
Or, in even more serious cases, suppose a passenger suffers what turns out a traumatic brain injury from a fall but it gets brushed off as just a bruise. The misdiagnosis might lead to life-altering conditions.
Health-related complications and emergencies can occur anytime during a trip and should receive nothing less than thorough and appropriate treatment in each instance.
Steps to Take if You're a Victim of Cruise Ship Medical Malpractice
If you suspect that you've been a victim of medical malpractice aboard a cruise ship, there are certain steps you should take immediately, as you may be able to obtain financial compensation as a result. Here's what you need to do:
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
First and foremost, prioritize your well-being. You want to consider getting another opinion or treatment from another medical professional as soon as possible.
Document Your Experiences
Record details about when and where the malpractice occurred, what treatments were provided, any medication that was prescribed, and how your condition evolved. Keeping documentation and taking notes regarding the experience will be helpful for a future claim.
Report The Issue To Ship's Authorities
Immediately report instances of medical negligence to ship authorities making them aware of the onboard practitioner's behavior. Obtain a copy of your formal report and any other documentation they provide.
Gather Contact Information From Witnesses
If there were any witnesses to the malpractice, make sure to collect their full names and contact details - their testimony could support your claims.
Consult With An Attorney
Finally, as soon as you are back ashore - or even while still onboard, if possible - get in touch with an attorney who is well versed in personal injury cases specific to injuries and illnesses related to cruise ships. They will assist you in building a solid case, making sure you comply with procedural rules and keep you informed about your potential claim.
Reach Out to Law Offices Cytryn & Velazquez, P.A. To Schedule a Free Consultation
Suffering from medical malpractice aboard a cruise ship can be an overwhelmingly distressing experience. Fortunately, you don't have to handle it alone.
At Law Offices Cytryn & Velazquez, P.A., we aim to make this process less confusing and more hopeful for victims of medical negligence. We handle catastrophic medical malpractice cases related to cruise ships across the nation. If you have questions or need assistance with a claim, don't hesitate to contact us today to schedule a free consultation.