Singapore: 19-year-old NSF displays signs of 'heat injury' before death

Singapore soldiers
Singapore soldiers Reuters

Singapore's Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) said in a statement that a 19-year-old full-time national serviceman (NSF) died of Monday after displaying signs of heat injury in Bedok Camp.

The deceased, Lee Han Xuan Dave was a Guardsman in the 1st Battalion Singapore Guards. On Wednesday, April 18 he needed serious medical attention after completing an 8km fast march at around 8.35 am.

MINDEF stated that a Singapore Armed Forces medic examined Lee and tried to bring the core temperature down. The statement added that PTE Lee was shifted to the camp's Medical Centre, where the medical team was taking care of the body cooling measures and providing him a continuous treatment.

On the same day, he was taken to the Changi General Hospital, located at 2 Simei Street 3 at around 9.50 am. Due to his condition, Lee was warded in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

The MINDEF clarified in the statement that unfortunately the condition of PTE Lee did not improve, even after shifting him to the ICU. They added that his health condition became worse during the hospitalisation.

However, the statement said that after the death of the young national serviceman, Ministry of Defence and the SAF extend their deepest condolences to his family and are assisting the family in this time of grief.

National Service in the country is a statutory requirement for all the male Singaporean citizens and second-generation permanent residents. Depending on the physical and medical fitness, they serve a two-year period as NSFs, either in Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), Singapore Police Force (SPF), or the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF). When an NSF completes his service, he is considered to be an "operationally ready" and later he is known as the Operationally-Ready National Serviceman (NSman).