June 25, 2018 2:58 pm
Updated: June 26, 2018 4:35 am

B.C. teen died from toxic shock syndrome while on class trip

WATCH: What is toxic shock syndrome and how is it caused?


The BC Coroner’s Service has found a B.C. teenager who died while on a class trip to Hornby Island in 2017 died from toxic shock syndrome.

Sara Manitoski, 16, died in her sleep while on a class trip with Georges P. Vanier Secondary School to Hornby Island.

Coroner’s report finds Comox Valley teen died from toxic shock syndrome while on school trip

Students found her unresponsive the morning of March 15, 2017.

The coroner’s report has found Manitoski died from toxic shock syndrome (TSS) due to staphylococcus aureus.

TSS is rare and is caused when toxins made by certain strains of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria (Staph) get into the bloodstream, the government of Canada website explains.

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The coroner’s report states “microbiology cultures completed on a tampon found in place identified the presence of staphylococcus aureus. Both findings are consistent with toxic shock syndrome.”

READ MORE: Comox Valley grade 11 student dies during Hornby Island field trip

“Autopsy and microbiology findings, as well as the symptoms Sara exhibited immediately prior to her death, are all consistent with the effects of toxic shock syndrome.”

The coroner classifies her death as natural.

While tampons do not directly cause TSS according to the government of Canada, tampon use is linked. The coroner’s service found the risk of TSS is increased with tampon use, however, tampon use is not the sole cause.

READ MORE: Model Lauren Wasser loses 2nd leg to toxic shock syndrome

Manitoski was with a group on the first day of a two-day outdoor education trip, Comox Valley School District Director of Instruction Paul Berry said in March 2017.

Berry said Manitoski had “a full, active and fabulous day,” and went to bed with “no apparent concerns.”

The report found the teen did participate in all the activities with her fellow students but complained to friends about feeling unwell and having cramps. At dinner she did not eat much.

Other girls in her cabin also said they hear Manitoski breathing rapidly and shallowly in the middle of the night for a short period of time before stopping.

WATCH: (Aired March, 2017) A Courtenay family is desperate for answers after a 15-year-old daughter mysteriously died on a school field trip. 

Manitoski’s older sister, Chelsey Loranger, told Global News in March 2017, that her younger sister was a “loved, happy girl.”

Loranger said her sister was a healthy child, who barely ever got a cold, and an active athlete.

READ MORE: What is toxic shock syndrome and what does it have to do with tampons?

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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