Coast Guard Provides Blood to Ailing Cruise Ship Passenger

MIAMI – A Coast Guard helicopter crew provided blood plasma to aid a passenger suffering from a rare blood disorder on the cruise ship Fascination 180 miles southwest of Key West, Fla., Thursday.The director of medical services for Carnival Cruise Lines contacted Coast Guard officials at approximately 1 p.m. and reported that a 24-year-old male from Ohio was suffering from angio edemia.

As the stress of a medical evacuation via helicopter could make the patient’s situation worse, the Coast Guard, with input from his personal doctor, the cruise ship doctor and the duty flight surgeon decided to only tranport the blood and the Carnival Cruise Lines director of medical services to monitor his condition. It was also decided the patient could be medically evacuated via small boat once the cruise ship was closer to shore.

An HU-25 Falcon jet from Air Station Miami transported the plasma and director of medical services to a waiting HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Clearwater, Fla., at Naval Air Station Key West in Boca Chica, Fla.

At approximately 3:15 p.m, the helicopter crew lowered the plasma and director to the cruise ship.

At 11:49 p.m., a rescue boat from Coast Guard Station Key West was launched to medically evacuate the patient, along with a relative and the cruise ship medical director, from the cruise ship. He was brought in to Station Key West where local EMS was standing by to transfer him to Lower Keys Medical Center.

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