British Columbia

Comox Valley student died of toxic shock syndrome while on school trip: coroner

Sara Manitoski,16, was found unresponsive in her bunk while on an outdoor education trip to Hornby Island in March 2017.

Sara Manitoski, 16, died in her sleep while attending an outdoor education program on Hornby Island last year

Sara Manitoski, a Grade 11 student from the Comox Valley, died in her sleep while on a school trip to Hornby Island, B.C., on March 15, 2017. (CHEK News)

The B.C. Coroners Service says a 16-year-old Comox Valley student who died in her sleep while on a class trip suffered from toxic shock syndrome as a consequence of staphylococcus aureus. 

Sara Manitoski was on Hornby Island participating in a Grade 11 outdoor education program in March of 2017 when she was found unresponsive in her bunk by students sharing a cabin with her. 

The report points to tampon use as a potential cause of death but notes that tampon use is not the only cause of 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," reads the report.

Manitoski attended Georges P. Vanier Secondary School in Courtenay.

The coroner said toxicology tests for alcohol, prescription and illicit drugs were all negative.

With files from Liz McArthur

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