Friday, February 22, 2013

Near miss: Singapore Armed Forces medical team successfully revives soldier who suffered a heart attack

SINGAPORE — A Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) NSman on reservist suffered a cardiac arrest during training yesterday, said the Ministry of Defense.

In a statement, MINDEF said that Operationally-Ready National Serviceman, Lance Corporal (LCP) (NS) Chew Koh Leong, 32, suffered a cardiac arrest yesterday at 7.25pm while performing his IPPT Preparatory Training in Maju Camp. LCP(NS) Chew had no known prior history of heart disease.

MINDEF said that LCP(NS) Chew was successfully resuscitated by an SAF medical doctor and medic and sent to the National University Hospital (NUH) at 7.55 pm. He is being treated in the intensive care unit and the cause of his cardiac arrest investigated by NUH specialists.

The SAF is providing assistance to LCP(NS) Chew’s family.

Source: Todayonline, 22 Feb 2013

SD comments:
A 32-year-old Operationally-Ready National Serviceman, Lance Corporal Chew Koh Leong, is recovering at the National University Hospital after suffering a heart attack during a PT session yesterday.

The story was posted this evening on the online edition of the Singaporean tabloid, Today. A print version is expected to be published in Saturday's edition of the paper.

The Singaporean Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) posted information on the incident on its website at 11pm tonight. (An earlier version of this post, which checked the website at 11:10pm found nothing. Have updated the comments below accordingly.)

* MINDEF has a practice of reporting fatal accidents or cases of grievious hurt involving firearms or machinery. The defence ministry did so dutifully for past incidents like the one involving Republic of Singapore Navy serviceman, ME2 Jason Chee.

* The vast majority of near misses that were classed as such, thanks to quick and successful intervention, have thus far gone unreported. The ministry had mentioned in past discussions on evacuation protocols that there have been instances of successful resuscitation. This story supports that claim.

* This is believed to be the first "near miss" news release logged for a heart attack case in recent memory.

* In the larger scheme of things, would this mean all near misses involving SAF personnel would be similarly reported? If so, for what class of incidents?
* As the PT session was witnessed by LCP Chew's fellow citizen soldiers, it is likely someone in the camp tipped off the media. This cause-effect dynamic has a precedent. This brings us to the next point.

* In previous years, MINDEF exercised even greater latitude in deciding what sort of fatalities merited a news release. Please read circumstances relating to the death of Republic of Singapore Air Force regular, Corporal Ricky Liu, which was discussed in an earlier post. Here's an extract from the post:

"CPL Ricky died serving Singapore. He reportedly crawled the last 20 metres to the finish line of the 2.4km run but collapsed before reaching it.

If PAFF had issued a news release the day he died, that would have done much to comfort CPL Ricky's family and friends. Instead, we heard nothing from PAFF. Not a squeak until MINDEF's spin doctors were queried by Today.

The journalist who broke the story, Leong Wee Keat, Senior Reporter at Today, shares how he got the story: “Yes, there was no news release issued. A member of the public called us regarding the death, which we confirmed with someone we knew from the air base. MINDEF did not issue a statement till we contacted them on the incident. When we spoke to the family, the sister was relatively calm (compared to other grieving families we tried before). They also sought answers but MINDEF said the incident was under investigation.”

* We wish LCP Chew a speedy recovery.

Coming up tomorrow:
Time to evaluate need for an RSAF Space Command


Anonymous said...

Another case of a true blue S'porean who nearly bit the dust while (maybe) his employer or foreign colleagues are bitching abt his NS obligations. This man nearly paid for his life substaining the GDP target.

Anonymous said...

Must every thing in the news to do with locals/NS/National interests be tied into the FT/ White paper/ MIW issue? Seriously? Can't we just be glad that a life was saved

Anonymous said...

For that matter, how do we know if LCP Chew is a 'true blue Singaporean'. He could be a former PR as well... All this over the top anti-establishment tripe that seems so prevalent of late makes me really ill...

Anonymous said...

The only reason why this was on the news was because it has already went viral online

Anonymous said...

"Must every thing in the news to do with locals/NS/National interests be tied into the FT/ White paper/ MIW issue? Seriously? Can't we just be glad that a life was saved"

We are not talking about saving life. We are talking about the sloppy Public Affairs department who revealed some deaths but not others.