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

Penticton Vees recognized on and off ice success

The awards were given out following their Saturday night win.

Dale family was prominent in Summerland’s past

Ruth Dale taught for many years

Penticton Vees comeback for overtime win to end regular season

The Vees were down 3-0 to start the third before putting together an epic comeback.

PHOTOS: Celebrating diversity in Penticton

Seventh annual OneWorld Festival celebrates the worlds of different cultures in the South Okanagan.

Fiery collision involving truck closes Highway 1 at Three Valley Gap

Drivers should expect major delays and congestion; estimated time of re-opening is 2 p.m.

VIDEO: 2020 BC Winter Games wrap up in Fort St. John as torch passes to Maple Ridge

More than 1,000 athletes competed in the 2020 BC Winter Games

Still six cases of COVID-19 in B.C. despite reports of Air Canada passenger: ministry

Health ministry wouldn’t comment on specific flight routes

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

Kelowna Firefighters douse suspicious hedge fire

A 30’ section of cedar hedge burned prompting an RCMP investigation.

Kelowna RCMP make arrest in fatal stabbing of 16-year-old Elijah Beauregard

An 18-year-old woman is in police custody facing a manslughter charge.

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

BC Senior Curling titles to be decided in Vernon

Wes Craig, Penny Shantz looking for fifth championships; Steve Wright, Donna Mychaluk into finals

Most Read