The Crew Care Team were recently involved in a case involving a seafarer who started to feel unwell whilst at work. The seafarer was suffering from a high temperature which then developed into difficulty breathing and dehydration. The seafarer was removed from the vessel by rescue helicopter and admitted into the nearest hospital on shore.
How were we involved?
Having been appointed by a P&I Club, our team were able to assist with this case, first we contacted the coast guard and local agent to request the necessary details of the seafarer and the hospital which they were admitted to.
Direct contact with the hospital was initiated to inform the medical team of our intervention and assistance in acting as the crewmembers advocate whilst they were in the UK. The hospital team were provided a direct number in case they require any information or if the seafarers condition changed.
Further to this, the Crew Care team contacted the local immigration office to request the necessary documents for the seafarer’s entrance into the UK for medical care.
Upon arriving in A&E, the seafarers condition worsened, resulting in the medical team transferring the seafarer to ICU to be intubated and ventilated. The Crew Care team set up a password with the ICU team to protect confidentiality going forward and for ease of communication. The Crew Care team ensured that the next of kin were informed of the seafarer’s critical condition.
On a daily basis the Crew Care team would speak to the treating nurse or doctor and ask for updates on the crew’s critical condition, providing daily updates to all concerned parties. The seafarer remained in critical care for numerous weeks due to complex diagnosis.
As the seafarer was due to be in ICU for a long period of time, the Crew Care Team requested that the Hospital accounts team provided interim invoices to break down the costs for the P&I club. Further to this, due to the complexity of the seafarer’s diagnosis, the Crew Care Team requested the assistance of their in-house medical consultant who liaised with the treating consultant on a weekly basis for in depth medical updates.
From the seafarer’s diagnosis, it was unlikely that they would fully recover in the UK, therefore our medical consultant proceeded to explore repatriation so the seafarer could receive further treatment in their home country with their family’s support. The Crew Care team and medical consultant explored options of domestic flights and Air Ambulances with a full medical team onboard to support.
Once the treating hospital was confirmed in the seafarer’s home country, a domestic flight in business class was arranged for the first part of the journey. This enabled a medical team to provide the seafarer support and treatment in a comfortable setting with dignity. Then an Air Ambulance with the same medical team was arranged for the final part of the journey.
How our assistance is beneficial
The Crew Care team can gain access to medical notes while adhering to GDPR guidelines, which enables us to get regular in-depth updates on the crew’s condition to feed back to the club and owners.
In cases of seafarers who are non-EU nationals, the Crew Care Team can liaise with UK Border Forces and complete the necessary immigration documents to allow the seafarer’s entrance to the UK for medical care.
Further to this, our highly experienced and skilled medical officer will liaise with the treating medical team regarding complex diagnosis and once seafarer was fit for repatriation, we can proceed to arrange the necessary arrangements via domestic or private airlines with full medical teams on aboard.
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