Preparing for your cruise
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, cruise ships hold a great deal of potential danger for the elderly, although that danger may, in fact, lead to only moderate injury.
A study by the NCBI found a total of 663 injuries in three years while studying cruise ships, which lead to a very reassuring 0.8 injuries per 1000 passengers. However, of those who were injured, the vast majority were elderly. The median age of the injured parties was 72, meaning most of those who suffered an injury where past the age of retirement.
Injuries were suffered throughout the ship and on land, with slips and falls causing a plurality of injuries on board (44%) and a vast majority on land (69%).
Most injuries (65%) happened on the ship itself.
The good news about the injuries is that most were not serious. Only 5% required a referral to a specialist and only 2% needed to be hospitalized on shore. The most common injury was simply some cuts and scrapes.
According to attorney Louis A. Vucci, the five most common kinds of injuries are slips and falls, illness, ship collisions, assault, and falling from one level of the ship to another.
While many of these potential accidents are traumatic, the data suggests those traumatic injuries are indeed quite rare, and the majority fall into the first two categories.
However, it is important to always be watchful and careful when on board and when on shore, especially for those who have reached their frailer years.
Another important point made by Mr. Vucci is that cruises may be liable for damages should the injuries be the result of some form of neglect on the crew’s part. This can include a failure to diagnose an injury or illness, giving the wrong diagnosis, not getting informed consent from a patient on board when it is required, doing the incorrect medical procedure, or failing to treat a patient.
These may be rare and upsetting possibilities, but it behooves all those reading to be aware of such potential problems and to guard against them.
A further point to make at the end is that should the ship be liable for any injury that occurs while you are in the ship crew’s care (either on the ship or shore), you should consult a lawyer quickly since the statute of limitations is very brief for cruises.
It is important for all to have the chance to relax and to take a break, especially those who are in their golden years, but at the same time, risks exist everywhere, and to be prepared for all eventualities is to be protected against many of the worst possible outcomes. Be sure after you sign up for your next cruise that you do your research on the ship, the crew, the cruise company, and all the potential hazards that may await you. That way, you’ll be able to better and more safely relax on your trip.