Cruise Bruise

Cruise Passengers Unrealistic Expectations
S.1340 Cruise Industry Legislation Excessive

Congressional Hearings July 23, 2014

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Cruise Passengers Unrealistic Expectations
S.1340 Cruise Industry Legislation Excessive

Congressional Hearings July 23, 2014

Cruise Passengers Unrealistic Expectations
S.1340 Cruise Industry Legislation Excessive

Congressional Hearings July 23, 2014

Cruise Line Industry Legislation Excessive - Cruise Ship Passengers' Unrealistic Medical Expectations - S.1340
If you were going to give any attention to the Senate hearing on bill S.1340, any attention at all, it should be to contact your senator and congress-person, urging their research ,then to vote against this new anti-business, proposed U. S. Congress Legislation.
The most quoted one line of promotion in the cruise industry is, "a cruise ship is like a big city". At least when it comes to the demographics of the passenger and crew mix aboard nearly all cruise ships, that is mostly true. However, when it comes to many other issues taking place aboard a cruise ship, a cruise ship is more like a town of the same size population. Health care is one such issue.
When passengers board a cruise ship which carries 2,000 to 3,000 passengers and is floating hundreds if not thousands of miles from a modern city or any city at all, for that matter, expectations for medical care should mirror that of rural towns far from major cities in America. The doctor, his nurse, this front office staff, if the doctor has any at all, are not ready for around the clock, instant patient care within a matter of a couple minutes.
It's not uncommon in rural America to wait for a first responder to arrive at the scene between fifteen and forty-five minutes or longer, from the time the incident took place. That's life in America. When people want to get away from the masses of people clustered in big cities, they make choices as to what they are willing to sacrifice for a calm, rural existence, which includes quick, well-trained medical care for every possible ailment or injury known to man. This the choice cruise ship passengers make when they take a cruise vacation which has more in common with a week in the Grand Canyon, than a week-long shopping trip in New York City.
According to USA Today article written in 2005, "Few cities know exactly how long their emergency crews take to reach cardiac arrest victims, and most are selective about how they portray their performance. Only nine of the 50 largest cities track their response times precisely enough to know how often emergency crews reach the victims of cardiac arrest within six minutes. Most other U.S. cities don't know their response times, refuse to disclose them or use imprecise measures that are meaningless in determining whether emergency crews reach victims in time to save them."

The article further states, "The most savable victim of sudden cardiac arrest is someone: Whose arrest is not caused by chronic disease, trauma or old age.
Whose heart goes into a state of ventricular fibrillation, or V-fib, making it a candidate for defibrillation."
For the sake of argument, we can look at some survival statistics for large American cities, based on the data in the USA Today article:
  • Columbus, Ohio - delivers 22% of victims to the hospital with a heartbeat but does not know how many survive; average call-to-shock: 7 minutes, 49 seconds.
  • Charlotte, North Carolina - would not report its cardiac arrest survival rate, but it reported 6 minutes, 56 seconds call-to-shock average.
  • Oakland, California - delivers 6% of cardiac arrest victims to the hospital with a heartbeat; average call-to-shock: 7 minutes.
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - delivers 5% of cardiac arrest patients to the hospital with a pulse; average call-to-shock: 6 minutes 50 seconds.
  • San Antonio, Texas - with a 9% survival rate, says call-to-shock is always within five minutes, but the city did not provide detailed data to support that claim.
  • Fresno, California's - survival rate is unknown; average call-to-shock: 22 minutes 11 seconds.

  • Clearly, not everybody can be saved in major cities which have the best possible medical personnel and equipment within a few minutes of most homes. Cruise industry legislation that aims to make health care at sea better than major American cities is simply unrealistic.