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Family is suing Royal Caribbean after misdiagnosis aboard Symphony of the Seas


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Sooooo let me get this right. First: They boarded the cruise and on that same day/later that day, they took the infant to Medical?? Which leaves to believe the infant was already infected with Meningitis as the incubation period is between two and 10 days.

Second: For a definitive diagnosis of meningitis, you'll need a spinal tap to collect cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Cruise Lines are not equipped to do this ESPECIALLY on a 9 month old infant.  The other route is by:

  • Swabbing nose or throat
  • Obtaining a stool sample
  • Taking some blood

But, for a 9 month old infant, it may be difficult to detect by these other methods.

My heart goes out to the family for what they have/are going through, BUT RCG is not at total blame here. If the infant was exposed prior to boarding the cruise ship, liability lessons.

My prayers are with this family.?

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22 minutes ago, SpeedNoodles said:

I'm not blaming the family at all, but what would lead them to this belief?  Did they think they were sailing on Mayo Clinic of the Seas?  "“We were always under the impression that the medical facilities and staff on a ship were world class and world leading."

If I was traveling on the most well known cruise line, I would expect competent doctors, not butchers.  RCL loves to flaunt it's world class facility and staff, why does medical fall outside of those parameters?

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5 minutes ago, CruisinForABruisin said:

If I was traveling on the most well known cruise line, I would expect competent doctors, not butchers.  RCL loves to flaunt it's world class facility and staff, why does medical fall outside of those parameters?

ALL cruise lines medical facilities are not equipped for the BIGGER challenges, such as COVID, hence, the No Sail Order. But, with even that, RCG tends to address their shortcomings once an issue arises. Once again, hence the New Health Protocols.

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23 minutes ago, CruisinForABruisin said:

If I was traveling on the most well known cruise line, I would expect competent doctors, not butchers.  RCL loves to flaunt it's world class facility and staff, why does medical fall outside of those parameters?

I don't think anyone expects that RCG would have the facilities to "treat" such an illness but, as much as I am a fan of RCG, let's look at this impartially, they should have the facilities to "identify" a life threatening situation and the ability to evacuate a patient via the necessary means to a facility that is capable of handling the situation.  

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41 minutes ago, princevaliantus said:

Sooooo let me get this right. First: They boarded the cruise and on that same day/later that day, they took the infant to Medical?? Which leaves to believe the infant was already infected with Meningitis as the incubation period is between two and 10 days.

It's not clear from the article, but my impression is not that the infant got sick the day of boarding/departure.  It says they visited the infirmary "5 times that day" and says they got off at St Martin.  It's not even clear that the 5 visits and getting off were the same day, they could have gotten off the following morning.  If the ship departed Florida, could it even visit St Martin on the next day?  I would think there would be a sea day or stop in the Bahamas first.  Either way, the child almost certainly picked up the disease before arriving.

If it was departure day, I would think an infant presenting with a 104 fever would be encouraged or even forced to debark if it was before departure.  If it had left, would that be enough to turn the ship back to port for an emergency though?  Not certain.

If it was not departure day, I would expect the doctors to give fluids and keep an infant in the infirmary until the fever subsides, not send them back to their cabin multiple times.  So based on what is written, I can certainly see reason to sue the doctor.  I agree they shouldn't be expected to handle all major health emergencies on board, but recognizing, stabilizing, and quickly getting patients somewhere more appropriate is definitely their responsibility.

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Given the fact they booked through RC UK and T&CS clearly state that issues are dealt with in UK under UK Law this should not even be looked at by US Courts, simply because when this family booked cruise they agreed to all the T&Cs!

T&CS are there to protect everyone! We enter a contract of agreement knowing this and no court should overrule this as it will open up a precedent that will cause more harm than good 

 

 

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33 minutes ago, TXcruzer said:

Marginally.  It is a very sad story with a very unfortunate outcome; but there should be no expectation that this type of illness to be successfully diagnosed and treated on a cruise ship. Sorry, but just sensationalist click bait. 

Then maybe they should improve the health services on boats that carry small cities. Imagine if we had to rely on them to identify something like a virus? Wait...

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20 hours ago, Ray said:

Given the fact they booked through RC UK and T&CS clearly state that issues are dealt with in UK under UK Law this should not even be looked at by US Courts, simply because when this family booked cruise they agreed to all the T&Cs!

T&CS are there to protect everyone! We enter a contract of agreement knowing this and no court should overrule this as it will open up a precedent that will cause more harm than good 

 

 

Correct.  Assuming the T&C say what the article indicates, this case should be dismissed and refiled in England.  

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On 9/23/2020 at 1:45 PM, princevaliantus said:

For a definitive diagnosis of meningitis, you'll need a spinal tap to collect cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).

This I know to be true as I survived bacterial meningitis back in 2002. I had all the classic symptoms, but a spinal tap was needed to confirm the suspicions. I was sick for a couple of days before with some symptoms and even visited the ER and was told it was an "inner ear infection". The "classic" symptoms in my case, came on quickly and according to my Doctors,  I was a couple of hours away from dying, even though it was only an "inner ear infection" a couple of days sooner.  I don't know if the RC DR was to blame or not. I know some of the early symptoms in my case, mimicked a lot of other ailments.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the little girl and her family. 

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I’m not usually in favor of these kind of lawsuits. And I do have to agree that meningitis would be difficult to diagnose on a cruise ship’s medical facility. But I do have to say that I found it interesting that the article said that the child had a 104 fever and the medical staff sent them back to their cabin several times. I would think at the very least you would give a child with that kind of fever some Tylenol or Advil (if they weigh enough). Wasn’t said here if that was done. Anyone with a fever of 104 fever needs to be watched 

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On 9/23/2020 at 1:25 PM, SpeedNoodles said:

I'm not blaming the family at all, but what would lead them to this belief?  Did they think they were sailing on Mayo Clinic of the Seas?  "“We were always under the impression that the medical facilities and staff on a ship were world class and world leading."

Meningitis is the reason they start babies with fevers like this on antibiotics almost immediately... Any properly credentialed doctor should have caught it easily.

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3 minutes ago, LizzyBee23 said:

Meningitis is the reason they start babies with fevers like this on antibiotics almost immediately... Any properly credentialed doctor should have caught it easily.

I didn't say they shouldn't have.  But thinking that any cruise ship medical facility is "world class and world leading" is a ridiculous idea.

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On 9/23/2020 at 1:45 PM, princevaliantus said:

Second: For a definitive diagnosis of meningitis, you'll need a spinal tap to collect cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). 

You do not wait for a definitive diagnosis to treat meningitis in babies. A high fever and lethargy is enough for a physician to admit your baby and start them on an IV in a heartbeat. Usually, you're waiting for the "definitive" tests to come back while you're trying your best to stay awake after the second night in the hospital and baby's 6th or 7th round of antibiotics. 

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On 9/24/2020 at 11:03 AM, TXcruzer said:

there should be no expectation that this type of illness to be successfully diagnosed and treated on a cruise ship

This is one of the most well-known causes of severe illness and death among children and babies. Any properly licensed doctor, who is qualified to provide medical care to children, should know the signs and the risks associated with meningitis. 

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8 hours ago, LizzyBee23 said:

You do not wait for a definitive diagnosis to treat meningitis in babies. A high fever and lethargy is enough for a physician to admit your baby and start them on an IV in a heartbeat. Usually, you're waiting for the "definitive" tests to come back while you're trying your best to stay awake after the second night in the hospital and baby's 6th or 7th round of antibiotics. 

You're comparing a ships Medical Dept. to a hospital. In all fairness, with this comparison, using your comparison, the family should then had been required to either be airlifted (extremely expensive) or gotten off the ship at the first port (expensive) and taken their baby to the hospital leaving, once again, the liability on the parents for their failure to act in the best interest of their child. This is how, most likely, the defense attorney will paint the picture to the jurors. 

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Lets not loose sight of the fact there is a child who is now a triple amputee at the heart of this story as we post.

As mentioned the child would have been infected before arriving on the ship.

Meningitis can often be misdiagnosed as the flu, especially in children. Not being in the consulting room I have no idea of the symptoms being exhibited at the time. Saying that most doctors, no mater if it was your GP or hospital (or ships dodctor), would want to rule meningitis out due to how quickly a patient, especially youth, can deteriorate. If the child was exhibiting flu like symptoms and the doctor didn't go through the process of eliminating meningitis then i would consider this abnormal. 

However.... again, we weren't in the consulting room. Maybe the doctor did check for symptoms (Fever, vomiting, nausea, stiff neck (both hard to determine in kids that can't communicate), light sensitivity etc) but there were non present. 

The sad thing is of course due to either a misdiagnoses (be it one that should have been made or one that wasn't made because symptoms weren't apparent and thus no fault) a child is now a triple amputee and my heart goes out to them and their family.

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