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Keith S Brais

Keith Brais’s Answers

1 total

  • My mother had a stroke during the first week of a month long cruise. . The Dr. aboard said it was probably just a flu.

    My parents stayed the rest of the trip on board the ship. Back at home port she was taken directly to the hospital by ambulance. My dad and emt told me about how she was feeling numbness on one side of her body, confusion, nausea. I'm no Dr. but t...

    Keith’s Answer

    Just last week, on November 10, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, “applying the standard principles of agency,” held that a plaintiff’s complaint set out “a plausible basis for imputing to Royal Caribbean the allegedly negligent conduct of its onboard medical employees.” Franza v. Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd., 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 21375, at *29 (11th Cir. 2014). In Franza, the plaintiff’s father, Vaglio, fell and hit his head on the “Explorer of the Seas” and “sought treatment from the onboard medical staff in the ship’s designated medical center.” Id. at *1. Afterwards, “[o]ver the next few hours, Vaglio allegedly received such negligent medical attention that his life could not be saved.” Id. at *1-2. More specifically, “the ship’s nurse purportedly failed to assess his cranial trauma, neglected to conduct any diagnostic scans, and released him with no treatment to speak of.” See id. at *2.

    Similarly, the doctor’s likely failure to diagnose and/or provide immediate treatment to your mother can be a basis for imposing liability on both the doctor and cruise line in question. Like the nurse in Franza, the doctor on board the ship failed to adequately assess and/or diagnose your mother’s condition and neglected to conduct a number of procedures or tests that would have diagnosed your mother’s stroke.

    The first test after a stroke is typically a CT scan (a series of X-rays that can show whether there is bleeding in the brain). Other tests also include:
    • MRI;
    • Electrocardiogram (ECK) exam;
    • Blood tests;
    • Complete blood count (CBC);
    • Blood sugar;
    • Electrolytes;
    • Liver and kidney function; and
    • Prothrombin time.

    In your case, the doctor’s failure to conduct any of these preliminary tests to diagnose your mother and subsequently (and immediately) provide her treatment may “set[s] out a plausible basis” for not only suing the negligent doctor—but also “imputing” said negligence to the cruise line.

    Moreover, unfortunately, your mother may have suffered harm as a result of the doctor and cruise line’s negligence in diagnosing and treating your mother. There are two types of strokes, (1) ischemic and (2) hemorrhagic. Early diagnosis and treatment of is the key to recovery. For example, when dealing with ischemic strokes, if the stroke is “diagnosed soon enough after the start of symptoms, you may be given a clot-dissolving medicine called tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA), which can increase your chances of recovery.” See Other, in the case of a hemorrhagic stroke, “[i]f a large amount of bleeding has occurred and symptoms are quickly getting worse, you may need surgery to remove the blood that was built up inside the brain and to lower pressure inside the head.” See id. Regardless of the type of stroke suffered, prompt and adequate treatment is of paramount importance, increasing the patient’s chances of recovery and helping prevent another stroke.

    Thus, in short, different medical care may well have made a difference in your mother’s case. And, unfortunately, the ship changing course to drop off an ill passenger may have exacerbated your mother’s condition, given that time is of the essence in diagnosing and treating a stroke.

    We are saddened to hear you most unfortunate news.

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