Death from combination of factors

Death from combination of factors
Mount Bromo
PHOTO: Reuters

An Irish physiotherapist, who collapsed during a hiking trip in Indonesia, died from a combination of factors.

In giving his findings into Ms Lisa Orsi's death, State Coroner Marvin Bay noted that two doctors who testified during the inquiry had different explanations on how she died.

But he was more inclined towards the explanation of Dr Marian Wang, the pathologist from the Health Sciences Authority, who said Ms Orsi, 22, had suffered from altitude sickness, which led to an irregular heartbeat that caused her to collapse.

This, in turn, led to her brain being deprived of oxygen, causing her to become brain dead.

Ms Orsi, who had been working as a physiotherapist in Singapore since 2014, had gone on holiday with five others to Surabaya in Indonesia. The group had planned for a hiking trip to Mount Bromo, about 2,600m above sea level.

On the first day, she seemed a bit flushed and complained of ear aches and stomach cramps.

On the morning of the second day, she collapsed in the bathroom of a hostel the group was staying in.

Her friends took her to a nearby clinic before she was transferred to two different hospitals in Indonesia. It took seven hours before she was at the final hospital in Surabaya, where a scan revealed swelling in her brain.

She was air-evacuated to Singapore two days later, on Feb 24, and taken to the Singapore General Hospital.

Mr Bay noted that Ms Orsi's condition could have been managed if she had received timely medical attention shortly after collapsing. She could have been able to recover quickly.

Furthermore, all doctors who testified during the inquiry said that had there been automated external defibrillators readily available, there was a chance she could have been revived after she first collapsed from having an irregular heartbeat.


On March 4, she was pronounced brain dead and her organs were harvested for donation two days later, according to her wishes when she was alive.

Her heart, liver and kidneys alone benefited four people, all parents who cared for a total of 13 children, said the State Coroner.

"Ms Lisa Orsi's gifts impacted and changed the lives of these individuals, who would otherwise be without hope of living a normal life," added Mr Bay.

This article was first published on September 23, 2015.
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