Four-year-old epileptic girl died after suffering seizures brought on by high temperature, inquest hears

A four-year-old epileptic girl from Barnsley died after suffering a seizure brought on by a high temperature, an inquest has heard.

By Dan Hayes
Friday, 12 April, 2019, 19:19

Holly May Laban died in Barnsley District Hospital on July 1 last year after doctors were unable to control the severe seizures she was having and she suffered a cardiac arrest.

An inquest into her death at Sheffield Coroners’ Court on Friday found there was nothing doctors could have done differently that would have saved her.

Sheffield Coroner's Court, where the inquest was held.

Concluding she died of natural causes, Assistant Coroner Tanyka Rawden said there was ‘no evidence that there were any missed opportunities that contributed to Holly’s death’.

The inquest heard evidence from the GP who saw Holly the day before she died and the medics who tried in vain to save her life as she was fitting.

Holly had attended Barnsley A+E on June 30 after suffering from wheezing, but was only treated for her ongoing asthma by the GP at the hospital.

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However, the day after on July 1, she was rushed back into the department after becoming unresponsive at home and then fitting in the ambulance.

Doctors in the A+E resuscitation room gave Holly a series of drugs to try to control her seizures and then tried to ventilate her lungs before she suffered a cardiac arrest.

After trying unsuccessfully for 40 minutes to restart her heart her using cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, the medics took the ‘incredibly difficult decision’ to bring their efforts to an end.

A post-mortem recorded Holly’s death came about as a result of uncontrollable seizures, but the doctors who treated her struggled to pinpoint the reason these seizures caused her cardiac arrest.

Dr Akhilesh Bowry, the consultant who anaesthetised Holly, said it may simply have been that her heart was exhausted, and could no longer pump sufficient oxygen around her body.

He said: “I don’t think there is any one thing that I can say this is why. It was a combination of things and medicine is often like that. I can’t see there was anything else we could have done.”