Cruise Ship Employee Lost Arm After Seeking Treatment From On-Ship Doctor

posted by Bill Galluccio - 

 A general view during the Norwegian Breakaway

A waiter who worked on a cruise ship has been awarded $3.3 million after he had to have his arm amputated due to an onboard doctor's mistake. Ilija Loncar went to a doctor onboard the Norwegian Breakaway for treatment of flu-like symptoms. What should have been a routine visit turned into a medical emergency after Dr. Sebastian Campuzano prescribed Loncar a "huge" dose of promethazine. Instead of injecting the antihistamine into Loncar's muscles, the drug was "injected intravenously into Loncar’s arm."

“(Dr Campuzano) gave the wrong medication, the wrong dosage by the wrong route through the wrong injection site, and it was administered over the wrong time and by the wrong method,” Loncar's lawyer Thomas B. Scolaro said.

A few hours later Loncar's arm started to turn black and blue,  and he returned to the doctor. The medical staff decided not to call for an emergency helicopter to airlift Loncar for treatment. Instead, the staff decided to wait 24 hours until the ship docked at the next port. By that time it was too late, and Loncar's arm had to be amputated from the elbow down. 

Scolaro said that the entire ordeal could have been prevented if the doctor had prescribed the correct medication.

“They gave (Mr Loncar) the most dangerous type of medication they could give to treat this very simple, common problem that can be treated with a very light and easy medication — Zofran. It’s all they needed to do. It’s like taking a Howitzer to destroy something when all you need to do is take a little BB gun and it would do the same thing. The Howitzer will destroy everything in its path. It was overkill.”

Photo: Getty Images

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