SINGAPORE: A man who drowned in a pool at the National University of Singapore (NUS) in 2007, would likely not have survived despite resuscitaton efforts, according to a cardiologist during a court hearing on Thursday.
40—year—old Roland Yeo, who was an IT manager with NUS, drowned after suffering a sudden heart attack in the university’s pool on June 6, 2007.
His wife is seeking S$1 million in damages from NUS after claiming the university was negligent.
Dr Michael Lim Chun Leng, a medical director with Singapore Heart, Stroke and Cancer Centre, took the stand on Thursday as an expert witness.
He told the court that Yeo had an underlying heart problem where there was "severe" damage of his heart muscle and impairment of the heart pump function.
Coupled with waterlogged lungs, Dr Lim said that Yeo "really had no chance of survival in an acute event."
The court heard that Yeo, a father of two, was a regular swimmer who could "outswim" his friends.
On that fatal day, Yeo had finished more than seven laps when he ran into difficulty.
He was spotted struggling and was semi—conscious when pulled out of the pool.
Efforts by lifeguards to revive him failed and he was later pronounced dead at the National University Hospital.
But Dr Lim emphasised that any resuscitation efforts by lifeguards or using an automated external defibrillator (AED) would have made little difference.
He noted that the exercise could have precipitated the heart attack, as there was not enough oxygen sent to the vital organs.
NUS is contesting the lawsuit and has named the pool operators, Hydro Aquatic Swimming School, as the second defendant.
The operators have in turn included their insurers Overseas Assurance Corporation in the suit to indemnify them for any liabilities.
The case continues on Friday.
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