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Seven-month-old girl died from natural causes, says coroner

A seven-month old baby found unresponsive in her cot by her parents died of natural causes, an inquest heard.

A seven-month old baby found unresponsive in her cot by her parents died of natural causes, an inquest heard.

Donna-Marie Collins suffered a number of health complications before being born prematurely in September last year.

The inquest heard how she inhaled her own bowel contents while she was in her mother's womb after becoming 'stressed'.

Medics said during the hearing that fluid contents surrounding her in the womb had also been inhaled by her, and they'd ended up in her lungs.

It affected Donna-Marie's ability to take in sufficient oxygen in her body after she was born and therefore affected the development of her brain, the inquest was told.

Deputy coroner Carolyn Singleton told Donna-Marie's parents Pauline and Richard Collins, of Tremellen Street, Accrington, that there was nothing more they as parents could have done to help their baby during her short life.

The inquest at Blackburn Coroners Court heard how the baby, who regularly suffered seizures, was born prematurely in September 2011.

Her parents, both travellers who were living in a caravan, were told their daughter would most likely be diagnosed with cerebral palsy during her life. However after regular hospital visits Donna-Marie's condition was said to be improving in March this year, Doctor Meera Lama told the inquest through a statement.

She said young Donna-Marie was on antibiotics to help her with fits and to manage stiffness in her body. 

Donna-Marie's mum Pauline, 18, told the inquest that when she and the baby's dad woke up on April 15 this year their child was unresponsive, so they took her to Accident and Emergency where she sadly died.

Dr George Kokai, a pathologist, told the inquest that Donna-Marie had brain damage caused by oxygen deprivation which related to complications she'd suffered before being born.

Coroner Singleton described the youngster as a poorly little girl, who sadly, had a 'very compromised brain'.

She said: "It is a complicated and a difficult thing to explain. I hope you two now have a better understanding of what has happened. She died from natural causes."

 

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