2 April 2020: Medical Emergencies

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Ovation of the Seas

Dates: 2 – 11 April 2020

Duration: 9-night cruise from Sydney

Destination: New Zealand

CPD Hours: 20 (Nurses/Paramedics)

Suitable For: Nurses, Paramedics, GPs

The awe-inspiring beauty of New Zealand awaits as you cruise for 9 nights on board Royal Caribbean International ‘Ovation of the Seas’ while participating in our conference and workshop: Medical Emergencies – Detection, Assessment and Treatment.

This popular 20-hour CPD event will be presented by Dr Merrin Thanopoulos and Dr Margaret Mathers – two highly respected medical practitioners from the Mater Hospital, North Sydney.



Medical Emergencies

Detection, Assessment & Treatment

Medical emergencies are often preceded by observable physiological and clinical abnormalities. This workshop and will cover many aspects of common medical emergencies including the best way to detect, assess and treat them while also escalating care appropriately.

This 20-hour CPD event is recommended for Nurses, Paramedics, General Practitioners and other allied medical professionals and will provide the participant with the required knowledge and skills to manage a medical emergency with a deteriorating patient. Education sessions include interactive presentations, case studies and simulations.

Also included is an optional CPR workshop conducted by Australian Resuscitation Council instructors that will cover all the RACGP requirements for a CPR course.

For more information, please click the “Itinerary & CPD Sessions” tab.

Key Learning Objectives (click to expand..)

At the end of the workshop the participant should be able to:

• Explain the importance of early detection, assessment and treatment of potentially deteriorating patients.

• Systematically assess a patient during a medical emergency using the ABCDE approach.

• Develop a systematic approach to assessment of a patient presenting with symptoms of stroke, sepsis, anaphylaxis, delirium, shock or respiratory failure.

• Recognise the importance of teamwork, leadership and communication during a medical emergency.

Milford Sound. Photo by Greg Schechter

Event Highlights

  • Nurses/Paramedics: Achieve up to 20 CPD hours
  • Optional CPR session (covering all RACGP requirements for a CPR course)
  • Certificate issued outlining sessions and total hours attended
  • 9-night cruise from Sydney to New Zealand
  • Complimentary tote bag, lanyard, pen and notepad
  • Complimentary and exclusive cocktail party
  • Complimentary group photo and farewell dinner (subject to availability)
Ovation - Sydney

Medical Emergencies

Detection, Assessment & Treatment

Royal Caribbean International
Ovation of the Seas

9-Night Cruise & Conference

Visiting New Zealand

2 – 11 April 2020


2 April 2020 | Thursday


Embarkation: Welcome Aboard!

Guest Welcome Reception and Conference Registration (click to expand)

Upon boarding the ship, meet your Cruise Seminars host and presenters at our Welcome Desk to register for the event. You’ll also receive a complimentary Cruise Seminars tote bag, lanyard, notepad and pen! Now settle in, explore the ship and enjoy our departure from Sydney as we set sail to awe-inspiring New Zealand.

18:45 Ovation of the Seas departs Sydney

21:00 Social meet ‘n’ mingle for all guests and their cruising companions

At sea

3 April 2020 | Friday

09:00 – 10:30 Presentations (1.5 hours):

Between the Flags (click to expand)

Patients in hospital and community settings can deteriorate unrecognised and without an adequate response. Between The Flags has been in use since January 2010 which uses vital sign thresholds for staged escalation and response by the most appropriately trained clinicians. This idea of early recognition of deterioration came from the pioneering work of Professor Ken Hillman, who developed a simple, but innovative system at Liverpool Hospital, NSW in the late 1980s.

Case Studies: Coroner's Court (click to expand)

Every hospital-based death referred to the State Coroner’s courts has been found to have at least one of the following four issues contributing to the death: Vital signs not checked at the appropriate frequency; abnormal vital signs not acted upon; patient/family concern ignored and poor documentation. We will review cases and discuss important lessons to be learnt from each one.

10:30 – 10:45 | Morning tea (provided)

10:45 – 12:15 Presentations (1.5 hours):

Teamwork, Communication and Leadership in Health Care (click to expand)

Poor teamwork and communication are a factor in up to 80% of adverse or near-miss events in hospitals. These deficiencies are often highlighted during medical emergencies. Structured communication tools, rapid response systems, patient/family activated care are vital in ensuring our patients receive the most appropriate care. In this session we will explore the concepts of teamwork and communication with a game, watching a short documentary and then discussion.

Patient A-E Assessment (click to expand)

The A-E assessment is a simple method that allows for a structured approach to a deteriorating patient. In this session we will take you through this assessment showing how abnormalities are detected, prioritised and treated.

12:15 – 13:15 | Lunch Break

13:15 – 15:15 (Group A) / 15:15 – 17:15 (Group B) Presentations (2 hours):

A-E Assessment Scenarios (click to expand)

Participants will be divided into two groups for this session (Group A & Group B) and allocated a time-slot accordingly.

This session will consist of small-group interactive workshops with participants performing high-fidelity simulations on deteriorating patients. This will enable participants to have hands-on experience in the detection, assessment and treatment of deteriorating patients; a great opportunity to put into practice knowledge acquired from the previous two days.

At sea

4 April 2020 | Saturday

09:00 – 11:00 Presentations (2 hours):

Respiratory Emergencies (click to expand)

Respiratory emergencies are frequently a cause of deterioration within the hospital and general community. Unless detected and treated early respiratory emergencies can be fatal. We will look closely at acute asthma and respiratory failure in general.

Cardiac Emergencies (click to expand)

Acute coronary syndrome and acute pulmonary oedema are two cardiac emergencies that need to be recognised and treated early to improve survival. We will look into the causes, detection, assessment and treatment using current best practice guidelines.

11:00 – 11:15 | Morning tea (provided)

11:15 – 12:15 Presentations (1 hour):

Endocrine Emergencies (click to expand)

Endocrine emergencies are common in the community and hospitalised patients. We will focus on issues with the diabetic patient and also a serious complication of patients who take steroid-based medications – acute adrenal insufficiency.

12:15 – 13:15 | Lunch Break

13:15 – 14:45 (Group B) / 14:45 – 16:15 (Group A)   Workshop (1.5 hours):

ABG/Cardiac Monitoring and ECG Analysis (click to expand)

Participants will be divided into two groups for this session (Group A & Group B) and allocated a time-slot accordingly.

Cardiac monitoring, ECGs and blood gas analysis (both arterial and venous) can be important tools in the assessment and treatment of a patient during a cardiac, respiratory or endocrine emergency. During this workshop we will discuss how to read and interpret these results.

Evening: Exclusive cocktail reception, food and beverages provided with our compliments!

5 April 2020 | Sunday

Milford Sound, New Zealand - 08:00 - 09:00 (cruising) (click to expand)

The Maori believed a divine mason carved Milford Sound. The fjord is a geological wonder of the ice age, where waterfalls cascade over sheer cliffs into the dark waters below and mountains dominated by Mitre Peak reach towards the sky.

Doubtful Sound, New Zealand - 13:00 - 14:00 (cruising) (click to expand)

You can only experience the grand scenery and tranquility of this magnificent fjord by boat. Doubtful Sound sustains an amazing array of wildlife. In the rainy season, its steep hills are covered with hundreds of waterfalls.

Dusky Sound, New Zealand - 16:00 - 17:00 (cruising) (click to expand)

Part of New Zealand’s Fiordland National Park, Dusky Sound was long the site of Maori camps but few permanent settlements. Captain Cook spent five weeks exploring the dramatic coastline that edges the mountainous wilderness.


6 April 2020 | Monday

Dunedin, New Zealand - Arrive 08:00 Depart 17:00 (click to expand)

Dunedin proudly celebrates its Scottish heritage but gold-rush fortunes are behind its grand Victorian and Edwardian architecture. From here you can also explore the Otago Peninsula, home to penguin colonies and scenic coastline.


7 April 2020 | Tuesday

Wellington, New Zealand - Arrive 11:00 Depart 20:00 (click to expand)

Wellington embraces its reputation as a cool ‘little’ capital. The city centre is compact but there’s no shortage of big-city culture. The charm extends to the surrounding green hillsides while countryside and rugged coast are within easy reach.


8 April 2020 | Wednesday

Picton, New Zealand - Arrive 08:00 Depart 17:00 (click to expand)

The seaside town of Picton is your base for exploring the beautiful scenery, pristine waters and wildlife of the Marlborough Sounds. A short drive brings you to sunny Blenheim, heart of Marlborough’s acclaimed wine region.

At sea

9 April 2020 | Thursday

09:00 – 11:00 Presentations (2 hours):

Shock (click to expand)

Shock is a clinical state with characteristic signs and symptoms which occurs when there is an imbalance between tissue oxygen demands and supply. Regardless of the cause, shock has a universally poor outcome unless it is detected early and treated appropriately and aggressively. We will look at and discuss the different causes of a shocked state and treatment guidelines.

Delirium (click to expand)

Delirium is a medical emergency and is often multi-factorial in origin. We will look at the common causes of delirium, how to investigate, and discuss several case studies.

11:00 – 11:15 | Morning tea (provided)

11:15 – 12:15 Presentations (1 hour):

Acute Stroke (click to expand)

Prompt detection, assessment and transfer of a patient to an appropriate facility provides the best outcome for a suspected stroke. We will discuss the different ways that strokes may present and cases where the outcome was clearly linked to the escalation of appropriate care.

12:15 – 13:00 | Lunch Break

13:00 – 15:00 Presentations (2 hours):

Shock Workshop (click to expand)

Shock workshop (Sepsis, Anaphylaxis, Obstetric Emergencies), Alcohol and Benzodiazepine Withdrawal

There are several causes and types of shock – in this workshop we will focus on anaphylaxis, sepsis and post-partum haemorrhage and will discuss the causes, presentation and treatment specific to each one. We will then look at one important cause of delirium: Alcohol and benzodiazepine withdrawal. Abuse of these products is common in our community and therefore health professionals need to be aware of the signs and symptoms and how best to treat withdrawal.

At sea

10 April 2020 | Friday

09:00 – 09:45 Presentations (45 mins):

BLS/ALS Theory (click to expand)

After cardiac arrest, only two interventions have been shown to increase survival to discharge from hospital – high quality CPR and early defibrillation. In this presentation we will run through the latest Australian Resuscitation Guidelines. Confirmation of arrest, external cardiac compressions, ventilation, defibrillation (AED & manual mode) and emergency drugs will be discussed then demonstrated.

09:45 – 10:00 | Morning tea (provided)

10:00 – 11:45 Presentations (1 hour & 45 mins):

4Hs and 4Ts (click to expand)

There are several reversible causes of cardiac arrest that must be considered, investigated and treated during the arrest. We will go through the 4Hs and 4Ts simple mnemonic which arrest team members can use.

Mater Hospital Case Studies (click to expand)

We will present case studies from our time working at the Mater Hospital – cases that have changed the way we practice medicine and inspired us to develop clearer policies and education on detecting the deteriorating patient.

11:45 – 13:00 | Lunch Break

13:00 – 14:00 Optional Workshop (1 hour):

Pacing and cardioversion (click to expand)

This is an optional workshop for an additional 1 CPD hour to acheive 20 CPD hours in total for this event. Bradycardias and tachycardias are common medical emergencies and do not always respond to chemical treatment. This workshop will focus on the ARC guidelines for arrythmias and using our simulated defibrillators participants will be able to practice pacing and cardioversion.

14:00 – 15:00 (Group A) / 15:00-16:00 (Group B) Optional CPR Workshop (1 hour):

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (click to expand)

This is an optional workshop conducted by Australian Resuscitation Council instructors. Participants will be assessed on DRABCD, external cardiac compressions, ventilations, AED use and assessment/treatment of the obstructed airway. This session will cover all the RACGP requirements for a CPR course.

Please note: We will allocate a 1-hour time-slot to each participant for this session and this will be advised approximately two weeks prior to departure.

Self-Directed Learning (1 hour):

Completed during own time (click to expand)

You will be provided with 1 hour of CPD activities to complete at your leisure during the cruise.

Evening: Farewell group dinner for all guests and their travelling companions (subject to availability)


11 April 2020 | Saturday

06:30 Arrive Sydney

We trust you have enjoyed this conference and wish you a safe onward journey home.

Disclaimer: All views expressed by presenters in any Cruise Seminar event are those of the presenters, and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Cruise Seminars. The liability of Cruise Seminars is excluded where there are factual errors, misrepresentations or omissions in any presentation. Cruise itinerary, session times, presenters, and content are correct at time of publication and subject to change at any time due to circumstances outside the control of Cruise Seminars.

Medical Emergencies

Detection, Assessment & Treatment

Cruise Seminars are proud to introduce Dr Merrin Thanopoulos and Dr Margaret “Maggie” Mathers as presenters for our Medical Emergencies conference and workshop. Both are highly accomplished and dedicated medical practitioners who together will bring their knowledge and experience to this event to ensure a thoroughly educational and interactive experience for all participants.

Dr Merrin Thanopoulos


Merrin is the Emergency Care Coordinator at the Mater Hospital North Sydney where she has also worked as a Senior Ward Registrar for the past ten years. Within this role she is responsible for the implementation of NSQHS Standard 8 (Recognising and Responding to Acute Deterioration). This has involved education and training sessions with nursing and medical staff, review of all patient deteriorations within the Mater Hospital and conducting Resus4Kids courses for Mater Hospital Staff.

Merrin has also worked as a senior RMO in St Vincent’s Emergency in Darlinghurst for 10 years. She is also an experienced ALS Instructor with the Australian Resuscitation Council and was responsible for the development of the Mater Hospital ALS Course Centre.

Margaret Mathers


Dr Margaret “Maggie” Mathers is the Deputy Director of Medical Services at the Mater Hospital, North Sydney where she has worked for over 20 years. During her time at the Mater she was integral to the implementation of Between The Flags in 2010 (the first private hospital in Australia to do so) and has developed numerous standards and policies focused on patient safety.

In her current role, Maggie is able to positively influence clinical practice at the bedside and is a passionate advocate for patient-focused care. Maggie is also a Senior Adjunct Lecturer with Notre Dame University lecturing final year medical students and runs the education program for Mater Hospital interns.

Maggie has also worked as an emergency registrar at Royal North Shore Hospital and is an experienced Australian Resuscitation Council Course Director for both ALS1 and ALS2 courses.

Medical Emergencies

Detection, Assessment & Treatment

Our conference venue:

Royal Caribbean International

Ovation of the Seas

Ovation in Sydney

Marvel at one of Royal Caribbean International’s newest ships – Ovation of the Seas. Launched in 2016, the Ovation of the Seas offers guests a variety of unique activities, entertainment and dining options. Experience the North Star for panoramic views 90m above the water, be amazed at the Bionic Bar as robotic arms mix your favourite drink or indulge in mouth-watering food at Jamie’s Italian restaurant. Ovation of the Seas has it all!


  • Multiple dining options including Jamie’s Italian, American Icon Grill, Coastal Kitchen, Chops Grill plus much more!


  • More than 7 bars including the Bionic Bar powered by Makr Shakr®, multiple lounges and entertainment venues


  • North Star: Take yourself to new heights with the jewel-shaped capsule that gently ascends over 90 metres above sea level giving breathtaking 360° views of the sea


  • A choice of pools including an adults-only solarium pool – a glass canopied retreat


  • Indoor pool with retractable roof


  • 67 metre outdoor poolside cinema screen


  • Staterooms include twin beds that can covert to a Royal King bed, a flat-screen TV, sitting area, private bathroom, wardrobe and writing desk.
*Some activities and dining options may incur an additional charge. Information correct at time of publishing. Please refer to the Royal Caribbean International website for additional information.


Maiden Voyage: 2016

Guest Capacity: 4,905

Decks: 18

Length: 348m / 1,141ft

Tonnage: 168,666 GT

Two70 Lounge
Ovation Solarium

Medical Emergencies

Detection, Assessment & Treatment


2 April 2020: Medical Emergencies

Royal Caribbean International – Ovation of the Seas

2 – 11 April 2020

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