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Old February 9th, 2011, 05:34 PM
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Default Mother & Son, asked to leave ship

Doesn't it seem the humane thing in a situation like this, for the ship to offer some assistance,and just not say adios?

Mum and son ‘thrown off cruise ship’ - Wales News - News - WalesOnline
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Old February 9th, 2011, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Trip View Post
Doesn't it seem the humane thing in a situation like this, for the ship to offer some assistance,and just not say adios?

Mum and son ‘thrown off cruise ship’ - Wales News - News - WalesOnline
I have a feeling that another side to this will emerge.....
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Old February 9th, 2011, 05:55 PM
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John I agree....most ships do have staff that handles these issues,as to not leave the people helpless in a foreign country. This line I am not familiar with, but, we'll see, if more comes out.
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Old February 9th, 2011, 05:59 PM
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Thompsons are an ....entry level cruise experience shall we say 3* maybe.
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Old February 9th, 2011, 06:56 PM
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No, it sure doesn't seem to be the best way to handle the situation at all. I hope we hear more on this...
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Old February 9th, 2011, 07:26 PM
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I hope there is more to this story.

As someone who lives with Epilepsy and a seizure disorder there would not be a cruise site, message board or news outlet that would not know about this situation if it happened to me.

I have to say that I have had seizures on the ship with no problem except for a Princess doctor who administered a ridiculously low dose of medication when, one time, I did not have mine with me. My wife returned to our cabin and retrieved the correct dosage and all was fine.

If the disorder is medically managed there is absolutely no reason to have put them off because of one seizure. Especially if the cause of the seizure (failure to take daily medication) was known. However, I do find it strange that someone with the disorder would forget their meds.

Epilepsy and those who live with have suffered an undeserving stigma for many years and I hope that it was not just a narrow minded Captain that was the reason for being put off the ship.

Take care,
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Old February 9th, 2011, 09:56 PM
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"they were asked to leave in the best interests of the other passengers"....

How does this affect the other passengers? What about the victim(s) here?
And the Welsh press sets epilepsy back 100 years by referring to his seizures as "fits".
If it was a simple matter of just forgetting to take his meds, then it seems there shouldn't have been a problem at all.
I hope to hear the outcome of this one...

donna
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Old February 9th, 2011, 10:04 PM
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RD, compassion was certainly no where in sight for this Mother and son. The use of that word is disturbing,and, it sounds like the line might have been worried over some kind of liability,and wanted to cover their tushes

More to come I hope...
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Old February 10th, 2011, 04:02 AM
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Old February 10th, 2011, 12:32 PM
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Hawkeye, you are very perceptive.

HOWEVER, if indeed the situation occurred as the cruiser presented it, the actions of Thompson Cruises are absolutely abominable.

Epilepsy is certainly not uncommon. While not all that common, gran mal seizures which it appears this man suffered, are not that often seen by the public, that type of seizure is not all that rare. It is incomprehensible to me that a ship wouldn't have sufficient supplies of the two drugs (at least years ago these were the drugs that were used for decades...I'm sure they've since been upgraded but in an emergency they both still work) of Phenobarbitol and Dilantin (Mike can correct me or at least update me if their use was completely abandoned a long time ago). The following are the procedures I was taught many years ago and may have changed, again, Mike is better versed (or any medical person) on this subject so I hope he/they will correct any major changes in what I'm about to write.

If indeed a person has a Gran Mal seizure (as opposed to a petite mal in which the person basically sits or lies and stares; this type of seizure can actually go unnoticed by passersby who are not familiar with epilepsy) it's best to do the following: Do not put anything in their mouths such as a tongue depressor allegedly used to prevent someone from "swallowing their tongue, which in fact is not possible) but to move any endangering objects such as furniture and/or articles that could injure the victim if he/she hit them or could fall on them. In no way shape or form should a person suffering a gran mal seizure be restrained merely to "calm" them simply because they can be significantly injured. When the seizure ends (it's usually albeit not always, very brief) the victim should then be carried to a bed as they will be absolutely exhausted and sleep (sometimes for several hours) following the event.

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Old February 10th, 2011, 01:21 PM
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I am not taking the side of the cruise line - but I am just pointing out that it is not unprecedented to ask people to leave for their own safety because of medical conditions.

This is why pregant ladies close to giving birth are not allowed - a ship is not a hospital and if something does go unfortunately wrong then the ship cannot be responsible. And it DOES affect other cruisers a great deal when things go wrong.

HOWEVER - as noted epilepsy is not a serious condition and it is easy to manage. The doctor onboard apparently did not feel comfortable treating it himself (the article says he gave a dose and the guy did not respond) so basically the doc was saying "please leave because I am incompetent."

In this case, Thomson should certainly refund the cruise fare and pay for travel expenses - unless we find out the young man had not brought the correct medication and was relying on the ship to have it. That sounds likw what may have happened here.

Unfortunately, first time cruisers often get the wrong idea about what a ship can do - possibly because of over-zealous travel agents.

JohntheDog - I just want to say we appreciate your U.K.-centric assessment of the cruise line. A little perspective from a knowlegable source goes a LONG way.
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Old February 10th, 2011, 04:09 PM
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IV Ativan, Dilantin or other barbiturate would be the usual medication "IF" the person was experiencing a series of seizures (Cluster seizures). There are 30+ types of epileptic seizures that vary in scope and severity. The Grand Mal/Tonic-Clonic are the most "stereotypical" type of a seizure. Diastat (Diazepam)is the other medical alternative and Diastat is administered, where the sun doesn't shine. If it was or is a single episode, that last less than five minutes, then no drug intervention is required.

When someone has a Tonic-Clonic seizure no restraint should be done except in the restraining the head and if the person is vomiting they must be turned on their side, if possible, to lessen the chance of aspiration. The area should be cleared as much as possible to lessen the chance of the person hitting something other than the floor. Do not put your hands in the mouth. A person having a seizure will not "swallow their tongue". They may bite it but it usually isn't severe. It is possible for the muscles in the airway to constrict and people have died from this but this is rare, and only in seizures of a long duration, and it is how the "swallow the tongue" idea was started.

Having said that: Any medical professional knows that a "single" seizure is not a reason for someone to be removed from a ship. The Captain, doctor and cruise line are showing incompetence and ignorance in this situation. I say this based on the information at hand and there may, very well, be additional information that we don't have that the doctor and Captain did. If this was a series of complex and/or cluster seizures then it would be a cause for concern.

I did notice that the Welsh press used the word "fit" to describe a seizure. I and many other people who live with Epilepsy don't have too much of a problem with this. There are some who do because they feel it minimizes the disease and adds to the stigma. I personally refer to the complex-partial seizures that I have as "flops" or "brain took a vacation". It is serious but not life threatening, in itself,and I stay "relatively" conscious during the episode but it usually requires drug intervention to stop it in a timely manner. Tonic-clonic seizures are not fun and dangerous because they come on, usually, without notice. I have not had one of those in almost three years and I'm glad of that. Kramer saved my butt on the last one of those because I was outside in sub-zero weather and his barking alerted my son about what happened.

I will say that Epilepsy has a stigma associated with it and many people can't handle seeing this and it can be as, or more, frightening to onlookers than to the person having the seizure. Because people have this reaction they do not want to be "uncomfortable" and isolate the person with Epilepsy. It is also embarrassing to the person with Epilepsy because they may wet themselves, vomit, salivate/spit or defecate during the seizure. No one wants to have people witness this but it is no reason to withdraw from life.

OK: I'll now stop babbling.

Take care,
Mike
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Old February 10th, 2011, 06:59 PM
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I've been on a ship with Mike to witness a seizure, and he can be quite entertaining. JUST KIDDING JUST KIDDING!

I do hate that there's any stigma towards people suffering from epilepsy.

I'm betting the mother knew quite well what to expect when it happened, how to react, etc. from experience.

Sounds as if Thomson just panicked,and did nothing to listen, or check what might happen even if it occurred again during the trip.
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Old February 10th, 2011, 07:57 PM
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Thanks for the info, Mike. In all my life I have never experienced a seizure and I have no firsthand knowledge of them. I did not realize they were actually so benign - assuming the proper precautions are taken.

It is a shame the ship's doctor was not prepared, but think a out that guy on Norwegian Epuc who died from aniphilactic shock. THAT never shoukd have happened, either, but it did.

And as I recall in the long run the family did not try to hold the cruise line responsible for what happened (as far as I know).

I am not trying to exculpate the cruise lines, I am just saying it appears that they person with the condition should be fully prepared to deal with the possible results and not think the cruise line is going to be able to handle the situation.

It is too bad he was asked to leave, but it does sound like the doctor didnt think he had what was needed to handle to condition. And I am just saying that will likley be a common response.

This is a just heads up to people with medical conditions to come prepared. Also - in fact, it is probably better not to mention your personal business to the cruise staff - just make sure you stay with a buddy during the trip.
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Old February 11th, 2011, 06:05 PM
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Linda,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You View Post
Doesn't it seem the humane thing in a situation like this, for the ship to offer some assistance,and just not say adios?

Mum and son ‘thrown off cruise ship’ - Wales News - News - WalesOnline
Unfortunately, a seizure aboard ship can be extraordinarily dangerous in several ways.

>> 1. A person having a seizure can bang into other passengers or crew, causing bodily injury to them. In the confined spaces of a cruise ship, there may be no escape.

>> 2. A person having seizure can bang into components of shipboard systems, inadvertently activating those systems and potentially causing a major casualty or, worse yet, rendering those systems inoperative during a casualty, thus placing the ship and all onboard in danger.

>> 3. A person having a seizure on deck or on a balcony could fall overboard as a result of the seizure.

When a passenger has a seizure aboard ship, the ship's medical officers and the master of the vessel must make a decision based on incomplete medical information because they do not have the passenger's medical history. The fact that a passenger had a seizure certainly is a clear indication that the passenger's epilepsy is not adequately controlled. As much as we all would like cruising to be accessible to those with epilepsy, I cannot fault the master of the vessel for acting on the side of caution.

That said, I do think that the ship should assist the passenger to obtain reasonable transportation home, even if this requires keeping the epileptic passenger in the ship's medical center until the ship arrives in a port of call from which flights are more readily available.

Norm.
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Old February 11th, 2011, 07:12 PM
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Norm,

I have to say that your number one and number two are just that.

A person having a seizure has a far less chance, almost zero, of injuring another passenger than a mobility impaired person running their "little rascal" around on deck or maneuvering it in close quarters. I've been injured by those more than once and I wasn't on the ground having a "fit" at the time. I've never seen a mobility impaired passenger removed from the ship because they could be a potential hazard.

Also, a passenger is not going be allowed near ANYTHING that would disable or disrupt the ship's systems.

Number three is possible but highly unlikely. A person having a tonic-clonic seizure is not going to "jump" or hurl themselves over the railing and they aren't going to fall over the railing unless they were leaning over it at the time of the seizure. They will lose motor control of their legs and collapse. That's like saying people "fall" off a cruise ship. I don't think anyone has actually fallen off a cruise ship unless they intentionally jumped or were making whoopie on the balcony railing or doing something else quite stupid and quite conscious.

These are are the fallacies and fears that have kept people with Epilepsy in the dark for centuries.

Paul:
There are so many types of seizures and many are "relatively" benign but tonic-clonic seizures, in clusters, can be very dangerous to the individual. They are the most dangerous, to the individual, because of the possible loss of oxygen and the injury they could inflict upon themselves during the seizure. Head injuries are the most common. Also, no one with a seizure disorder should operate a vehicle or machinery unless they have their seizures under control and have been seizure free for an amount of time deemed safe by their doctor and the laws of their state.

In my previous post, I said that if there were information that the ship's doctor and Captain had that we don't (i.e. he had three seizures within twenty minutes) then it could have been a reason to have the young man leave the ship.

I base my opinions, in this thread, on the information that he had only one, tonic-clonic, seizure and he had not taken his medication that morning.

Take care,
Mike
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Old February 12th, 2011, 11:30 AM
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Question Cruise line reaction

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuki View Post

Sounds as if Thomson just panicked,and did nothing to listen, or check what might happen even if it occurred again during the trip.
Well, frankly, I think it unlikely that any ship's Captain operates on that sort of basis. He would never have advanced to the position of command if he did.

Let us consider some of the possible third sides to this story. We will probably never know. But let me suggest a not improbable scenario.

Guy has seizure. Mom panics, yells at medical personnel when they arrive, gets bossy and tells them what to do. Guy goes to dispensary, is given medication, yells at doctor about the choice of medication, says it is not working, insists he has to have some other medication which he did not bring and which is not in the ship's stores. Mom and patient continue yelling and calling doctor incompetent and saying that the ship is not treating them properly. Basically in the course of all this yelling they make it clear that they do not think the ship's doctor can handle the guy's epilepsy. Find out they are going to have to pay for treatment and go even more ballistic at that! Threatens to sue the doctor and the ship for not treating him properly.

Now what choice does the Captain have?

Could it have maybe happened this way?

Truth is a three edged sword.
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Old February 12th, 2011, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MercedMike View Post
Well, frankly, I think it unlikely that any ship's Captain operates on that sort of basis. He would never have advanced to the position of command if he did.

Guy goes to dispensary, is given medication, yells at doctor about the choice of medication, says it is not working, insists he has to have some other medication which he did not bring and which is not in the ship's stores.
It is very probable that there is more to this scenario than the information we have. I do have to say that if the guy was having a tonic-clonic seizure he wouldn't be yelling at the doctor about his choice of medication. He would be unable at the time and for a while afterward.

We could make up all sorts of scenarios.

I do have to say based on my personal experience and the shared experiences of others with epilepsy there is a lack of knowledge and a lot of prejudice about the disease and that has made many "professional's" (medical and non-medical) make decisions based on fear, bad information and wives tales.

Take care,
Mike
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Old February 12th, 2011, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MercedMike View Post
Well, frankly, I think it unlikely that any ship's Captain operates on that sort of basis. He would never have advanced to the position of command if he did.

Let us consider some of the possible third sides to this story. We will probably never know. But let me suggest a not improbable scenario.

Guy has seizure. Mom panics, yells at medical personnel when they arrive, gets bossy and tells them what to do. Guy goes to dispensary, is given medication, yells at doctor about the choice of medication, says it is not working, insists he has to have some other medication which he did not bring and which is not in the ship's stores. Mom and patient continue yelling and calling doctor incompetent and saying that the ship is not treating them properly. Basically in the course of all this yelling they make it clear that they do not think the ship's doctor can handle the guy's epilepsy. Find out they are going to have to pay for treatment and go even more ballistic at that! Threatens to sue the doctor and the ship for not treating him properly.

Now what choice does the Captain have?

Could it have maybe happened this way?

Truth is a three edged sword.
Hmmm, where have I heard that line before. :-p
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Old February 12th, 2011, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike M View Post
Norm,

I have to say that your number one and number two are just that.

A person having a seizure has a far less chance, almost zero, of injuring another passenger than a mobility impaired person running their "little rascal" around on deck or maneuvering it in close quarters. I've been injured by those more than once and I wasn't on the ground having a "fit" at the time. I've never seen a mobility impaired passenger removed from the ship because they could be a potential hazard.

Also, a passenger is not going be allowed near ANYTHING that would disable or disrupt the ship's systems.

Number three is possible but highly unlikely. A person having a tonic-clonic seizure is not going to "jump" or hurl themselves over the railing and they aren't going to fall over the railing unless they were leaning over it at the time of the seizure. They will lose motor control of their legs and collapse. That's like saying people "fall" off a cruise ship. I don't think anyone has actually fallen off a cruise ship unless they intentionally jumped or were making whoopie on the balcony railing or doing something else quite stupid and quite conscious.

These are are the fallacies and fears that have kept people with Epilepsy in the dark for centuries.

Paul:
There are so many types of seizures and many are "relatively" benign but tonic-clonic seizures, in clusters, can be very dangerous to the individual. They are the most dangerous, to the individual, because of the possible loss of oxygen and the injury they could inflict upon themselves during the seizure. Head injuries are the most common. Also, no one with a seizure disorder should operate a vehicle or machinery unless they have their seizures under control and have been seizure free for an amount of time deemed safe by their doctor and the laws of their state.

In my previous post, I said that if there were information that the ship's doctor and Captain had that we don't (i.e. he had three seizures within twenty minutes) then it could have been a reason to have the young man leave the ship.

I base my opinions, in this thread, on the information that he had only one, tonic-clonic, seizure and he had not taken his medication that morning.

Take care,
Mike
Mike I am so glad you made this post.. I have only seen one person have a seizure and it definitely can be scary but of course the person did as you state they collapased. I definitely have seen many people on their scooters who think that because they are on a scooter it gives them the right to not pay attention to others who are walking, they are definitely a danger to others on a ship. And I wondered how #2 in Norm's post would happen.
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Old February 12th, 2011, 01:46 PM
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I know I have been very busy with family crises but until I read Trip's post, I had never heard of this story.

I do have first hand experience of Thomson in dealing with a medical emergency. My father suffered a heart attack when on holiday with them.

They were excellent. Their customer care was peerless. They made all the
arrangements even flying family members to Spain. They handled the payment of all expenses direct.

Thomson, now part of the Tui group, has always enjoyed a very good reputation in the UK market.

My instinct is that we have not been told all the facts.

Annie
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Old February 13th, 2011, 11:38 AM
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Talking Speculations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike M View Post
It is very probable that there is more to this scenario than the information we have. I do have to say that if the guy was having a tonic-clonic seizure he wouldn't be yelling at the doctor about his choice of medication. He would be unable at the time and for a while afterward.

We could make up all sorts of scenarios.

I do have to say based on my personal experience and the shared experiences of others with epilepsy there is a lack of knowledge and a lot of prejudice about the disease and that has made many "professional's" (medical and non-medical) make decisions based on fear, bad information and wives tales.

Take care,
Mike
And Mike, you are right of course, medically speaking.

On the other hand, based on my personal experience and the shared experience of others who cruise, the type of behaviour I suggested in my possible scenario is not at all unusual and happens all the time. I have a strong suspicion that the doctor and captain made their decisions, not based on fear and bad information about epilepsy, but in fact based on their observation of the attitude of the passenger and his mother, and the cause of the ejection was behaviour, not medical condition.

We may never know.
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Old February 15th, 2011, 06:28 PM
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Mike,

Quote:
Originally Posted by you View Post
A person having a seizure has a far less chance, almost zero, of injuring another passenger than a mobility impaired person running their "little rascal" around on deck or maneuvering it in close quarters. I've been injured by those more than once and I wasn't on the ground having a "fit" at the time. I've never seen a mobility impaired passenger removed from the ship because they could be a potential hazard.
In so far as there are a lot more scooters and motorized wheelchairs aboard some ships, I agree that they can pose a more prevalent risk.

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
Also, a passenger is not going be allowed near ANYTHING that would disable or disrupt the ship's systems.
I would not be so sure about that. There are emergency systems throughout the passenger spaces aboard every cruise ship.

Quote:
Originally Posted by you
Number three is possible but highly unlikely. A person having a tonic-clonic seizure is not going to "jump" or hurl themselves over the railing and they aren't going to fall over the railing unless they were leaning over it at the time of the seizure. They will lose motor control of their legs and collapse. That's like saying people "fall" off a cruise ship. I don't think anyone has actually fallen off a cruise ship unless they intentionally jumped or were making whoopie on the balcony railing or doing something else quite stupid and quite conscious.
That, again, would depend upon the type of seizure and how it happened to go down. I can envision somebody in a seizure getting an arm over a rail and flailing his or her legs in a way that pitched the torso body over it, beyond the point of no return. Once the person's center of gravity is beyond the rail, the person would be over the side.

And yes, I have been around enough seizures to be way too familiar with them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by you
These are are the fallacies and fears that have kept people with Epilepsy in the dark for centuries.
I think that we need to trust the ship's medical officers to assess the type of seizure and the danger that it might have posted, as that is within their professional competence, rather than trying to "second guess" them based on incomplete information. In medical matters, the captains of cruise ships are very consistent in following the recommendations of their medical staffs.

Of course, as others have pointed out, the manner in which the mother reacted to the seizure also may have swayed the final decision.

Norm.
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Old February 15th, 2011, 06:36 PM
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Nancy,

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Mike I am so glad you made this post.. I have only seen one person have a seizure and it definitely can be scary but of course the person did as you state they collapased. I definitely have seen many people on their scooters who think that because they are on a scooter it gives them the right to not pay attention to others who are walking, they are definitely a danger to others on a ship. And I wondered how #2 in Norm's post would happen.
Unfortunately, there are different types of seizures. I have witnessed seizures in which the person collapsed immediately, and also seizures in which the person did NOT collapse immediately, but rather flailed for perhaps ten or fifteen yards rickochetting off of everything within reach with rather forcible blows and then continued to "bounce" several feet off of the floor. In one instance, the patient was an enlisted sailor with no medical history of seizures who was in training at one of our Navy's nuclear prototype reactors. The only saving grace was that it happened in the study room next to the reactor plant rather than in the plant itself, where he might have impaled himself on a valve stem or some other protruding object.

Norm.
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Old February 15th, 2011, 08:09 PM
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Norm,

The person experienced a tonic-clonic seizure not some sort of complex-partial seizure where they would flail about like a pinball. That type of seizure is extremely rare and is usually drug induced. A diabetic hyper-glycemic seizure could produce this effect.

I also believe you forget that people are on a cruise ship and not a naval vessel. The systems that anyone might possibly trigger would be a fire alarm. The ship systems such as life rafts or other systems that a passenger may be in contact with require more than a bump to set them off. If these systems were so delicate people stumbling in rough seas would be setting them off.

I do know where I come from. I've lived with epilepsy for ten years and work with neurologists and those who live with epilepsy. I lead a local epilepsy support group through the University of Minnesota and have worked with this for the last eight years.

I agree that a person with an active history of epilepsy should not be on a naval vessel or work with any dangerous equipment. However, a cruise ship is a completely different environment and your reasons do not "hold water".

Take care,
Mike
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Old February 16th, 2011, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev22:17 View Post
I think that we need to trust the ship's medical officers to assess the type of seizure and the danger that it might have posted, as that is within their professional competence, rather than trying to "second guess" them based on incomplete information. In medical matters, the captains of cruise ships are very consistent in following the recommendations of their medical staffs.

Of course, as others have pointed out, the manner in which the mother reacted to the seizure also may have swayed the final decision.

Norm.
You know, I travel with a CPAP machine. I recall on our boards some time ago, a very irate post from a CPAP user. It seems that he was foolish enough to check the bag his machine was in, and when he arrived at his cabin it was not there yet. Instead of waiting for all the bags to be delivered, he went down to Customer Service to raise the devil. In pounding on the counter and yelling about his missing bag, he made the statement, "I could die if I don't have my machine." (A true statement, but one with very small probability.) Immediately he was denied passage as the ship could not take a chance on him after he made that statement. It was his own mouth that got him kicked off the ship, even though he refused to recognize that.

I agree with Norm that I think the doctor and Captain would consider all factors in making their decisions, and I agree with Mike that an epileptic passenger would in most situations pose no risk to his own health or public safety. I continue to believe that it was the mouths of the passenger and his mom that resulted in the expulsion, not the medical condition. We will probably never know.
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