Coroner's inquiry into NSF's death: Combat medic did not have enough training

On the first day of a coroner's inquiry into the death of Private Dominique Sarron Lee, 21, the combat medic who attended to him told the court that he did not have enough medical training nor adequate medical equipment to deal with asthma attacks.

Last April, Private Lee died after having breathing difficulties and passed out during a training exercise in Lim Chu Kang that involved the use of smoke grenades.

The former track athlete from the Singapore Sports School had a history of asthma and had been declared fit enough to undergo combat training.

A panel of senior respiratory medicine specialists, who investigated Private Lee's death, found that he died from an "acute allergic reaction" after inhaling zinc chloride fumes that were emitted from the smoke grenades.

Six smoke grenades were used rather than the maximum of two during a training exercise.

The platoon commander who threw the he threw the extra grenades because there was no wind that day to create the desired smoke screen effect to mask the movements of the troops.

When the state coroner asked the training excercise's chief safety officer, Captain Chia Thye Siong and Private Lee's platoon commander Najib Hanuk Muhamad Jalal if they knew the symptoms of asthma and how to deal with an asthmatic patient, both said no.

The next hearing is in June.

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