Ms Megan Loy was at the Colour Play Asia Music Festival held in Taipei on 27 June 2015 when a fire ignited, engulfing the partygoers in a raging inferno.  The 18 year-old Singaporean was one of 498 casualties, having sustained third degree burns to 80% of her body.

"When the team heard about this situation, we realised Megan would have the best chance of survival at the SGH Burns Centre.  We then called for her immediate evacuation back to Singapore," explains Dr Chew Khong Yik, a plastic surgeon at Singapore General Hospital (SGH) who led the team in treating Ms Loy.

"Making that decision was the most challenging problem we faced.  News of a Singaporean victim was only made public more than 24 hours after the incident.  By the time we were granted access to Megan, 48 hours had lapsed.  For major burns victims, time is essential as multi-organ failure can happen within 72 hours."

As Ms Loy was already exhibiting signs of kidney failure, the team chose to take the risk, and made quick preparations for the skin grafting procedure to take place upon arrival.

"We were extremely concerned that she would not make the long journey. Thankfully, the evacuation proved to be the right decision. Megan continues to do well, and has decided to be a doctor to help others like her," says Dr Chew.

The team's successful treatment of Megan's injuries highlights the effectiveness of a multi-disciplinary approach to burns management.

"Each member of the team, from anesthetists and disease specialists to nurses and therapists, is crucial in supporting a major burns victim.  The support of the hospital is also critical in providing the necessary infrastructure and resources. In order for our continued preparedness to treat horrific burn injuries, it is important to learn from this incident and improve ourselves here at SGH Burns Centre."


Dr Chew Khong Yik (Leader)
Consultant, Department of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery
Singapore General Hospital

Dr Chew and his team were the winners of the Distinguished Team Award at the 2016 SingHealth Excellence Awards.


Tags: Doctor