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HomeCruiseBirth At Sea: Premature Baby Born On Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship

Birth At Sea: Premature Baby Born On Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship

Community Corner Birth At Sea: Premature Baby Born On Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship A mother unexpectedly gave birth on a Royal Caribbean cruise with the help of the ship’s doctors and a Miami neonatal doctor on shore. Reply
A mother unexpectedly gave birth on a Royal Caribbean cruise with the help of the ship’s doctors and a Miami neonatal doctor on shore. (Shutterstock)
MIAMI, FL — A passenger on a Royal Caribbean cruise unexpectedly gave birth at sea with the help of the ship’s medical team and a neonatal specialist on shore in Miami.
The mother didn’t feel well while traveling on the Jewel of the Seas and visited the medical facility on Tuesday, Royal Caribbean said. The ship’s doctors quickly realized that she was in active labor. The premature baby, weighing 2.2 pounds, was delivered on board by Royal Caribbean’s senior physician, Dr. Alif Patilla, and his medical crew and the virtual assistance of Dr. Jorge Perez, founder of KIDZ Medical Services, a partner of the cruise line. Perez was on the phone with the ship all night, from 6 p.m. to 4 a.m., according to a news release from his office.
“My initial concerns were about the capability of the medical team on the ship and their resources since this was an extremely unusual situation and a 22-week-old infant is just at the edge of viability,” Perez told Patch. Cruise ships aren’t equipped to handle this type of birth, he said. “After they were able to successfully intubate the child, I was more comfortable.”
Perez guided the on-board medical team as they improvised with an adult ventilator on the premie. He also walked them through administering fluids through a peripheral IV, monitoring the child’s glucose, and drawing up a sugar solution and antibiotics to the correct dosage for the baby. He also taught them to regulate the baby’s temperature using saran wrap.
“The shipboard doctor on the Royal Caribbean International ship did everything I told him to do,” Perez said. “Without his excellent collaboration and constant communication, the outcome would likely have been quite different. For instance, not every physician is able to intubate a preemie, and the shipboard doctor — using a laryngoscope most likely for an adult-sized person — followed my instructions in great detail. Together, this team of clinicians and dedicated professionals saved this baby’s life.” The mother and baby were transferred to St. Ann’s Bay Hospital when the ship arrived at its next port, Ocho Rios, Jamaica, Royal Caribbean said. The child was admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit.

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