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Old August 25th, 2006, 02:02 PM
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Default Is there a Doctor on Board???

Set sail in 6 days....my 10 yr old is battling appendicitis...spent almost 12 yrs in ER this past Sunday only to learn it was inflamed/enlarged..but white count didn't flag anything so they decided to have me "watch" him. We had another bout of it last night. We did purchase the vacation protection thru Carnival should something happen before hand...but....WHAT IF SOMETHING HAPPENS WITH HIM ONCE WE SET SAIL? Is the doc on board really a doc? What are the odds of a surgeon? Would they airlift us home or to our port of call (Cozumel)??
Any ideas, suggestions??? We have gotten him so pumped up & excited for this trip, I'm almost afraid that he starts denying his pain just so he doesn't feel he ruined it for the rest of us.

CajunCruiser
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Old August 25th, 2006, 02:56 PM
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I saw on the travel channel that all ships have doctors. But they do not have "hospital" conditions. If something "bad" happens, they will more then likely head for the nearest port or the next port and take him to the hospital.
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Old August 25th, 2006, 03:04 PM
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Is There a Doctor on board?

Should a guest require medical attention while aboard one of our vessels, the Infirmary staff is available to assist 24 hours a day. The Infirmary is equipped to treat minor non-emergency matters. Physicians are available to render services at a customary fee. While at sea or in port, the availability of medical care may be limited.

Medical Infirmary Hours

The Medical Infirmary on board has daily office hours which are listed in the Carnival Capers. The medical staff is on call 24 hours a day for emergencies. The hours may vary from ship to ship and whether the ship is in port or at sea:

Infirmary Hours: 8:00am - 8:00pm

Doctor's Hours : 9:00am - 11:00am; 3:00pm - 6:00pm

Medical Service Fees

A charge for medical services will be billed to the guest's Sail and Sign Account and a receipt will be provided for the guest to submit to their insurance company upon return for possible reimbursement.

The physicians on board are independent contractors and are entitled to render services at a customary fee which may vary from ship to ship based on the time of day. The basic fee does NOT include medication, tests or treatment.

Medication

Motion Sickness: complimentary Meclizine (Bonine) is available from the Infirmary, Room Service or the Information Desk, free of charge. A motion sickness shot can be administered to those who are actively vomiting, but not as preventive medicine; there is a fee for the shot. The Infirmary does not have motion sickness patches nor wristbands.

Over-the-Counter medications for cold, cough, upset stomach or other minor illnesses can be purchased at the Infirmary from 8:00am-8:00pm. In addition, the shops on board may carry some of these items.

Prescription drugs and vitamins may not be readily available either on board the ship or in the ports-of-call.

Medical Staffing and Equipment

In order to maintain a safe and comfortable environment for our guests, our infirmaries meet or exceed the standards established by the International Council of Cruise Lines and the American College of Emergency Physicians.

Our infirmaries are staffed by qualified physicians and nurses who are committed to providing the highest quality of shipboard medical care. Each ship in the fleet carries one doctor and three nurses; the Destiny, Triumph and Victory each carry two doctors and four nurses.

Doctors on our ships are required to have a current and valid medical license from the USA, one of its territories, or Canada, Australia, New Zealand or South Africa, or have full registration with the British General Medical Counsel of the United Kingdom or current full registration with the British General Medical Council of the United Kingdom, or current full registration with the medical council of a member country of the European Union. In addition, doctors must demonstrate competent skill levels and hold current certification in basic and advanced cardiac life support and cardiac care, have experience in general medicine or general practice including emergency or critical care, and have one to three years clinical experience and minor surgical skills, and board or similar international certification is preferred. The doctors on board are independent contractors.

Shipboard medical facilities are set up to provide reasonable emergency medical care for guests and crew. In cases of extreme emergency where more comprehensive facilities are required, patients are referred to shoreside facilities.

In addition to standard lifesaving equipment such as defibrillators and external pacemakers, our infirmaries carry some of the latest in medical technology including thrombolytic therapy, electrocardiograph machines, lab equipment, pulse oxymeters and x-ray machines on many of our ships.
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Old August 25th, 2006, 03:30 PM
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Due to my own experience...sadly.. the cruise M.D's are not surgeons..they are internists...and seem to do alot of litle things like setting bones.. Sadly, it maybe best to cancel the trip rather than go through the trauma of being evacuated. to a foreign hospital.. If at this time it's a pre-existing condition at the time of the cruise (prior medical records will be required) your travel insurance maynot pay.. I'm sure your son will be very disappointed in not cruising this time, but in life we all have disappointments....and it maybe dangerous to him at this time
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Old August 25th, 2006, 07:09 PM
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The type of physician on board varies from ship to ship. All are M.D.s or D.O.s and ACLF (advanced cardiac life support) certified. Chances are they will not be surgeons although I have known a retired surgeon who worked as a ship physician. But even if the physician is a surgeon they would not do surgery onboard unless there was no possible alternative. While the infirmaries are equipped on par with U.S. E.R.s (I've been in several ship infirmaries, so I know of which I speak) that does not mean they operate when other options are available. Should your son have a hot appendix they would off-load him at or to the nearest port. Whether they would treat him locally or fly him to the States would depend on his condition and your locale.

I would have a VERY serious discussion with his doctor about the situation. A ruined vacation is nothing in comparison to the health of your child. You have the insurance - use it! Reschedule the trip for his next school vacation.

Nurse Ratchet
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Old August 25th, 2006, 07:24 PM
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Hi CajunCruiser,

Quote:
Originally Posted by CajunCruiser
spent almost 12 yrs in ER this past Sunday
I know what you're talking about!

I agree with MB. I'd strongly suggest that you talk with your son's doctor about this!

IMHO, since you have the insurance, I'd cancel the cruise and rebook one a month or so from now. It will be a disappointment, but as Parrot Mom said, we all have disappointments. Wouldn't you rather cruise when you don't have to worry about him all the time and he's not worrying about a "flare up" ?

Your son may feel "guilty" about the cruise, but if you have another "better" one booked it should help!
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Old August 25th, 2006, 07:39 PM
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Didnt read your port.. Cozumel...YOU DO NOT WANT HIM IN A MEXICAN H OSPITAL...... the cruise is not worth the life of your child....No matter what
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Old August 29th, 2006, 11:11 AM
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Thanks for the advice....it has been since Thurs of last week since any complaints from him....so we are going to go for it....we still have 2 days before we leave & we all have the understanding that if any symptom arises, he stays home with grandma...if sever, we all stay....

Thanks again!
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Old August 29th, 2006, 11:17 AM
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:o Would recommend you study your travel insurance form and have the phone # of your pediatrician at hand..in case...
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Old August 29th, 2006, 10:27 PM
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Not to scare you at all but a few years ago my appendix flared up but my doctor said my white count wasn't elevated so I didn't need to worry. After three weeks of it on and off I went to a surgeon myself. My insurance company said that it would not pay for me to get my appendix out because it couldn't be appendicitis because my white count wasn't elevated. My surgeon said his "gut feeling" was that is was my appendix and he wasn't taking any chances and if he was wrong he would pay for all of my expenses. Well, to make a long story shorter by the time he operated my appendix was rupturing and I almost died and had to stay in the hospital. Needless to say my insurance company paid and appologized. Just don't let the whole white count thing fool you. Be careful, it will pay off. I do hope you have a great cruise.
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Old August 30th, 2006, 03:14 AM
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If you take him you are playing a very dangerous game !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old August 30th, 2006, 06:49 AM
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I'm not one to cancel a cruise by any means. Even for a hurricane But this could be real serious , and life threatening Collect on your insurance, and watch him close. This is something not to be taken lightly.

As Parriot Mom stated, you do not won't him transferred to a Mexican Hospital

Best of luck;
David
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Old August 30th, 2006, 08:43 AM
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I agree...I would cancel the entire trip and reschedule another cruise in the next month or so, if possible. I have a 12 yr. grandson and he would be pitching a fit if he thought he wasn't going on the cruise, but 12 year olds don't realize what life and death really is. I wouldn't leave him at home, how could you possibly have a good time without him????

Hospitals in Mexico are nothing like you are used to here. The ones I have seen look like a convience store with a hospital sign in front of them, very run down, etc. Unless, you are very fluent in Mexican, or would get very lucky to have an American speaking doctor, how would you know what was going on?

My husband also had a flair up with his appendix several years ago, and his white blood count was also fine, but 1 week after his initial visit to the ER, he was in such pain that he was operated on and his appendix was also ready to rupture. Every person is different, but with your son already having a couple of flare-ups, I would really be concerned.

If you decide to go ahead on the cruise with him, I hope that you have a credit card with a VERY high credit limit, as someone else stated, you will be charged for any expenses incurred and then you can file with your insurance policy when you return home, but you have to have the available credit line to use for an emergency.

Whatever you decide to do...We all wish your son good health.
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Old August 30th, 2006, 03:58 PM
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Default Mexican hospital

If you do end up in a Mexican or foreign hospital one of the major problems is the screening of blood for AIDS. I hope by the time you have read all of these messages we have convinced you to cancel for the sake and life of your son
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Old September 7th, 2006, 11:19 AM
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Default Is there a Doctor on Board???

Hey everyone! Thanks so much for all the concern & the answers to my questions about doctors/hospitals, etc. We were able to have some lab work done on him prior to our leaving for Galveston for the cruise & his white count was normal, he hadn't had any pain or symptoms for 6 days prior....doctor gave us the go ahead...he wasn't even tender upon exam....So we CRUISED!! NO PROBLEMS!! We kept asking him every hour or so how was he feeling, any pain, anything...he'd just say mom, I'll tell you if I hurt or I'm not feeling well. He played in Camp Carnival, snorkeled, the water slide and I think he could give Tiger Woods a run for his money on the putt putt course! We had a great trip....& he still hasn't complained of any pain.

I'm anxious to cruise again...so are the kids....
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Old September 7th, 2006, 12:45 PM
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Welcome back. I'm so glad you had a great cruise. Please think about giving us a review. We'd love to hear.
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Old September 7th, 2006, 04:56 PM
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The Carnival Triumph has a female German doctor on board when we cruised last week. Carnival charges $60 per doctor visit and $30 per nurse visit.

Hope that you don't need to see the doctor.
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Old September 7th, 2006, 06:49 PM
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Hi CajunCruiser,

I'm so glad everything worked out for you! It sounds like your son had a wonderful time .

Please do post a review of your cruise. We'd love to hear about it!
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Old September 8th, 2006, 10:52 AM
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that's great, glad to hear that your son is okay and that you had a good time on your cruise.
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