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

Roly Russell, the predicted MLA for the Boundary Similkameen, and his wife Christine Carlson celebrate on election night. (Contributed)
B.C. Votes 2020: Russell leads as election heads to mail-in counting

Russell is likely to replace incumbent BC Liberal Linda Larson

Students across B.C. vote in a BC NDP majority government. (Student Vote B.C.)
Local students elect a BC NDP majority government

Penticton students elect NDP Toni Boot, with Green’s Ted Shumaker close behind

Incumbent B.C. Liberal Dan Ashton watching results come in on election night. (Contributed)
B.C. Votes 2020: Incumbent Dan Ashton heading towards third term in Penticton

Ashton was first elected to the legislature in 2013

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)
VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Voters are saying they felt safe voting in person despite the current pandemic. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Central Okanagan voters talk about their pandemic election experience

Despite an election taking place during COVID-19, residents said they felt safe voting in person

Efforts to replace the aging Rutland Middle School have been put off by another year by the ministry of education. (File photo)
Education ministry won’t replace Central Okanagan school anytime soon

New Westside Secondary top priority for ministry of education

Cole Collingwood casts his mock ballot at Vernon’s Mission Hill Elementary School ahead of the provincial election Oct. 24, 2020. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
PHOTOS: Okanagan students cast mock election ballots

At Mission Hill Elementary, the election is a chance to learn about the democratic process

Thanks to efforts by a Kelowna shelter and Elections BC, anyone who wishes to can vote in the 2020 BC Provincial Election, even if they don’t have a fixed address. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Kelowna group ensures people experiencing homelessness can vote

Shelter supervisor says voting ‘a fundamental right’ even for those without a fixed address

Most Read