Friday, April 27, 2012

Thailand: Australian Tourist, 65, Dies from Heatstroke in Phuket

According to The Phuket Gazette, an Australian tourist, Michael Lester, 65, died from heatstroke on Wednesday (April 25) while vacationing at Surin Beach in Phuket. An EMT unit was summoned after a bystander found the unconscious Australian near the beach. 

Although the man was still breathing when found, medical staff at Thalang Hospital worked for two hours trying to revive Lester, at which point he was declared dead. The initial cause of death was given as cardiopulmonary failure, possibly brought on by heatstroke.

COMMENT: Like most of Thailand, the temperature in Phuket can easily approach to 40ºC (or 104 degrees Fahrenheit). When coupled with high humidity, visitors unfamiliar with the climate can quickly find themselves at risk of heatstroke.

It should also be noted that April can also often bring some of Thailand's hottest weather. Hence, the need for visitors to stay well-hydrated, avoid overexposure to the sun and humidity and to take steps aimed at reducing heatstroke and other cardiopulmonary conditions. Please see:


Lester's death came two days after another Australian tourist, 34-year-old David Sean Fuster, died of natural causes at the Evason resort in Rawai. 

As I have suggested in other postings, it is essential that all foreign travelers have a thorough medical examination before embarking on travel abroad, largely to head off any medical risks that have arisen. 

Additionally, I urge ALL travelers to subscribe to international medical and evacuation coverage before departure, for if you become ill or are injured abroad, you will have to pay for medical treatment in advance.