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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Black Prince is in the news again having been hit by a major sickness bug. The report going onto say that operators of the the cruise liner(their words not mine!)will carry out even more stringent deep cleaning measures. Black Prince returned to Leith today after about 100 of the 393 passenger fell ill suffering from a vomiting bug similar to Norovirus which hit 136 passengers on the Fred Olsen vessel at the start of June.

Once again people will think that only cruise ships are affected, and once again taken totally out of perspective especially if this is another variety of the many forms of Gastroenteritis whether bacteria or viral which is commonly known as food posioning whatever the type.

As I have stated before, the amount of cases reported aboard cruise ships in comparison to the same percentage shoreside, especially during the hot weather in parts of the UK recently is not even worth mentioning. In a league table on a monthly basis, cruise ships is way down in the non-league or even Sunday league. But cruise ships are easy targets for the media.

I would like to know exactly what type of food poisoning they are talking about, whether different, or the same type on this particular ship. If the same, I would tend to look for a carrier amongst the crew who handles food rather than only concentrate on cleaning. The latter is very important of course, but if you have a carrier as is often the case, it does not matter how deep they clean the ship. David
 

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Gastroenteritis

Absolutely correct David. I saw a report that an NHS hospital killed about 25 patients last month as a result of a Gastroenteritis outbreak. The report gave an approximate figure because the death certificates only quote the primary cause of death and ignore the fact that Gastroenteritis brought on the primary cause.
As some newspapers are currently on a crusade against the NHS, perhaps they will ignore Norwalk outbreaks on cruise liners. A recent edition of The Telegraph devoted three lines to the fact that Van Gough has had five consecutive voyages with sickness outbreaks.

Fred (Read)
 

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Wholeheartedly agree with you both. Last year i was Master on a small scottish cruise ship was hit by the bug. The very nature of it meant it was easily spread as soon as it entered the air, and of course in the confines of a ship it was just a matter of time. having taken advice from the Company Medical Advisor, he indicated that the infection rate is approximately 50% - which tied in perfectly with what we found.

It was a 24hour bug at worst. Most folk got over it within 12 hours. We found the ones who made a point of 'bringing it to the attention of the wider community' were the 'professional complainers' - complaining in the expectation that they'll receive compensation. Unfortunately they did, and those who took it in their stride and complained not a jot, got nothing. As they left the ship we were sure to indicate our thanks to them for being so patient and understanding of the situation. Whereupon they indicated their own disgust at those making the preverbial mountain out of the molehill.

Al mac
 

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Would that have been the wee cruise ship that is an ex Cal Mac ferry? If thats the ship then she is very nice ship and a very friendly bunch of people on board. Have piloted it a few times.
 

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Aye, that's right - the Hebridean Princess. Yes, she's a lovely wee ship, kinda set in her ways, but that's not necessarily a bad thing! We always enjoyed taking the ship to the Northern Isles, it was the years highlight for crew and guests alike.

I'm working on a oil rig now (don't laugh!) and miss the old girl very much. But it was time for a change and if i didn't leave when i did, i'd be there till the day i pegged it!

Where about's did you take us into?
 

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It would have been into either Stromness Kirkwall or perhaps Lyness as she used to go in there on occasions. She is only calling here oncce this year but she should be back in next year 4 or 5 times.
 

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Hello again

Yes i see, i never had the pleasure of Lyness, but many times Stromness and Kirkwall, and of course the many island around there.

I don't suppose i'll be seeing the islands again from this particular vantage point!

Ironically, and getting back to the origin of this posting, the rig i work on now is owned by Fred Olsen.
 

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Comparative safety

Some of today’s newspapers carry a piece about a scathing report by MPs on the Public Accounts Committee concerning the ineffective National Patient Safety Agency. This is a Government body established in 2001, with a £35 million a year budget to streamline complaints reporting with the aim of allowing all parts of the NHS to learn from mistakes made anywhere in the Service.
In 2004-5 there were 974,000 recorded patient safety incidents, although the PAC believes that at least a further 20% of mistakes go unreported. Over 50% could have been avoided if NHS staff learned from previous incidents.
The Department of Health reported that about 1 in 10 patients admitted into NHS hospitals is “unintentionally harmed”. This is estimated to cost the NHS £2 billion per year in remedial treatment and £400 million a year in settled clinical negligence claims. There are no records of the number of patients killed as a result of patient safety lapses.
Imagine the outcry if the cruise industry “unintentionally harmed” 10% of its passengers! There are about 1,250,000 British cruise passengers per year and perhaps 0.2% suffers a health problem whilst on board. You are far safer in a cruise ship than an NHS hospital.

Fred (Read)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Fred. This is exactly why I have been saying all along that Gastroenteritis for example aboard cruise ships is taken totally out of perspective compared with shoreside.

If hospitals applied the same hygiene standards that P&O now employ, I predict that MRS for example would be halved within a year. No system will ever be foolproof, which is why cases still appear on cruise ships which Al Mac suggested spread very quickly due to the confines of a ship. But in comparison to shoreside, there is not a problem on cruise ships at all.

You open up a very delicate chestnut Fred?!. Will explain more on the trip in September. However, briefly without breaching confidentality there is a far bigger problem than the public realize. Government agencies in their present form are a waste of time. They are just another bureaucratic nonsense that costs millions but achieve next to nothing. You mention death certificates in an earlier post Fred. Well, because of the crazy system we have to abide by, deaths certificates are not always accurate. That is not the doctors fault, but the system. At least 95% of information learned at coroners autopsy is lost forever because the coroners system is a legal requirement to find out the cause of death, not research it. Therefore, if a person was to pick up Gastroenteritis, even in hospital, and we found the cause of death was coronary thrombosis, that would be recorded as 1a with Gastroenteritis being as low as 1c or lower even though in reality, it contributed to heart failure. Therefore, this is how it would usually read: 1a Primary cause of death with 1b possibly Ischaemic Heart Disease or hardening of arteries 5 years, 1c Hypertension 20 years, with Gastroenteritis as low as 11 even it was the final straw.

Coroners cases were once 80% of our work, but due to the publicity of organ retention with the media totally unaware of the damage they were doing, clinical cases has dropped to almost zero putting medical research back so far, it may never recover. I don't blame the media because we need to work with them to get important messages across. But they also do a lot of damage, possibly unwittingly due to total misunderstanding of the work we do in medical research, now with our hands tied.

Yes, hospital acquired infections is very worrying, but none are as big a killer as Bronchopneumonia which we often refer to as Bacterial pneumonia. This is one of the easiest conditions for any medical professionals to diagnose, but none the less thousands upon thousands of people die of it every winter quite often needlessly. And a lot of these people pick it up in hospital or nursing homes, the very places you would expect to spot this conditon in time. Yet like so many condititions, Bronchopneumonia is curable if treated in time. Bronchopneumonia follows a cold or flu. Both are viruses which can't be treated with antibiotics. Yet, when the colds goes to the chest as we have all experienced, it turns to bacteria. That is when antibiotics come into their own. But you have to catch the moment it hits. Qualified doctors and nurses should spot this, but you will be surprised how many don't. Once Bronchopneumonia takes hold, antibiotics will not touch it. The most at risk are the elderly and those in bed. A fit and healthy person should survive, but not always. I personaly have taken part in many thousands of autopsies on cases of Bronchpneumonia, and I can honestly say that the majority would have survived had they been put on antibiotics sooner, and received round the clock nursing. And this was never put down as the primary cause, again often as low as 1c. What the hell do you tell relatives in such cases after losing a loved one?.

I had better say no more, but you may gather Fred that the article you read is the the tip of a massive iceberg that I and my former colleagues know all about, but may never become public knowledge mainly because much of what I saw is subject to confidentiality, and legal restraints that although retired, I still honour. But I say as much as I dare so that others will live longer, and try to explain the problems medical professionals face when being told what to do by faceless bureaucrats who know as much about medical matters as my backside!

And please gives cruise ships a break because they are far cleaner than you think. David
 

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The NHS hospitals get a lot of stick over these issues but is it not the relaxed regime to hospital visiting that must carry a lot of the blame, I remember my mother being in hospital for long periods while I was a child, my sister and I were not allowed into the ward to see her, my Father would lead us to a window if she was on the ground floor and we would shout to each other through the glass, sometimes she was in for many weeks but still we were not allowed onto the ward. If she was not on the ground floor we had to sit outside till my father had finished his visit. No one would like a return to those times 1950s but people I know within the NHS say it would be the answer to a lot of the problems they are getting the blame for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
As a former head of department Jeff, and seeing things I could never reveal on this or any other site, a return to former times would certainly help. When I qualified, all hospitals were within budget. In fact every March we had an excess which we had to spend or lose it in the next financial year. I had to buy things for my department I did not need to ensure my budget was not affected the next year. Quite crazy, but far better than now. Sisters were actually in charge of wards. Indeed, all departments from Admin to we medics were trained for the job we did, usually straight from school. Now, you have people from outside industry who know nothing about the medical set up. Unless reforms return to the basics, expect more job cuts, cuts in services, and more needless deaths affecting every single family in this country. The stress was bad enough during my time. Myself and staff were under huge pressure to deliver. That pressure has since trebled, and with less staff. I always try to be positive, but knowing what I do, that is not easy. David
 

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Wonder how today's media and the litigious cruise ship passenger would react to the old Far East liner complaint of "Aden water". Am sure Pompeyfan can remember those days. Also don't hear much about Montezumas revenge after a weeks holiday in Cancun and they will go back for more the following year.

In my day's in the cruise ship industry we called it heat exhaustion from too much sun and booze, the punters called it food poisoning.
 
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