Coroner determines B.C. teen died of toxic shock syndrome while camping

Sara Manitoski died while on school camping trip

The BC Coroners Service has released its report into the death of 16-year-old Courtenay resident Sara Manitoski, who died last year while camping on Hornby Island.

Coroner Courtney Cote has concluded that Manitoski died of toxic shock syndrome (TSS).

The toxicology exam completed was negative for alcohol, prescription and illicit drugs.

Manitoski, a Grade 11 student in G.P. Vanier’s integrated studies outdoor education (Explore) program, was with fellow students on an overnight field trip at the Outdoor Education Centre in Tribune Bay Provincial Park.

RELATED: Courtenay high school rocked by death of student

According to the coroner’s report, Manitoski had complained during the day’s activities on March 14, of feeling unwell and suffering from cramps.

She retired to her shared cabin at approximately 9:50 p.m.

At approximately 7 a.m. March 15, the other students in the cabin went for breakfast. They returned at 7:30 to find Manitoski’s alarm sounding.

“Sara failed to shut the alarm off, another student checked on her and found her unresponsive,” the report states. “The students alerted the teachers, and emergency services were contacted and bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was initiated by the teachers. BC Ambulance Service personnel and RCMP attended. Paramedics took over CPR; however, were unable to re-establish vital signs and resuscitation was discontinued.”

The report said Manitoski was “heard breathing rapidly and shallowly in the middle of the night for a short period of time and then stopped.”

The original examination found increased skin redness on the neck, upper arms, upper chest, lower abdomen and medial thighs.

Tests completed on a tampon found in place identified the presence of staphylococcus aureus. Both findings are consistent with toxic shock syndrome.

“The risk for toxic shock syndrome is increased with tampon use; however, tampon use is not the sole cause. Therefore, it is not possible to definitively exclude the tampon as causative,” said Cote in her report.

“[These] findings, as well as the symptoms Sara exhibited immediately prior to her death, are all consistent with the effects of toxic shock syndrome. I find that Sara Marie Manitoski died on Hornby Island on March 15, 2017, of toxic shock syndrome as a consequence of staphylococcus aureus. I classify this death as natural.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

July Kootenay real estate sales at record high

Sales and prices of Kootenay real estate on the rise

Brent Carver: A legend of stage, screen and TV

Over the years, the Cranbrook thespian earned his place as one of Canada’s greatest actors

Jaws for $5 on the big screen: a silver lining to pandemic-era cinema

During these (trying/unprecedented/difficult/spicy) times, many different industries have take colossal hits and… Continue reading

The great Brent Carver has passed away

Carver, one of Canada’s greatest actors, has passed away at home in Cranbrook

History Centre launches walking tours of historic downtown Cranbrook

The Cranbrook History Centre is about to begin a series of Guided… Continue reading

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

Most Read