Monday, December 24, 2012

Bali: Singaporean Tourist, 40, With Heart Ailments Dies While Mountain Hiking

According to The Jakarta Globe, Suresh Perumal Ramaswamy, 40, a permanent resident of Singapore, died while climbing with a guided group on Bali's Mount Batur on December 22. The group included five tourists and two guides.

Tragically, Mr. Ramaswamy, who reportedly had a history of heart ailments, died at a mere 500 meters above sea level, which suggests that he very probably should not have been engaged in mountain hiking.

COMMENT: Our condolences and sympathies go out to Mr. Ramaswamy's family, yet it is sad to see a person so young and having such promise die unnecessarily. 

The group departed from Pura Jati on the southern slope of Mount Batur, which stands at 1,717 meters above sea level.

A joint team from the local police and Bali's search and rescue agency brought Mr. Ramaswamy's body down, amid heavy rains and carried it to a hospital in Denpasar

Police rescuers reportedly mentioned that the group should not have attempted the ascent during inclement weather.

As I have said in the past, tourists and travelers, particularly those with known cardiovascular disease, should have a complete physical examination from their medical provider before traveling abroad and obtain the necessary prescribed medications to control their condition(s).

Additionally, those with heart ailments should specifically ask their physicians the detailed limits of physical exertion. Unfortunately, many patients intentionally don't ask that critical question.

Finally, anyone with or without known ailments, particularly cardiovascular disease, should subscribe to international medical treatment and evacuation coverage.