Allergic boy dies after cheese was thrown down his T-shirt
London 13-year-old was severely allergic to wheat, gluten, all dairy products, eggs and all nuts
A boy with a severe dairy allergy died after he was chased by a schoolmate who threw cheese down his T-shirt.
Karanbir Cheema, known as Karan, suffered a serious allergic reaction in Greenford, West London, just before midday on June 28 last year. The 13-year-old was severely allergic to wheat, gluten, all dairy products, eggs and all nuts, was asthmatic and suffered from atopic eczema. He went into anaphylactic shock, an inquest heard.
Another boy, also 13 at the time, was later arrested on suspicion of attempted murder but has not been charged.
On Wednesday, an inquest heard from paramedic Kierin Oppatt, who said the 999 operator was told it was “just an allergic reaction” but when he arrived Karan was “gasping for air” and had broken out in hives.
The boy was unconscious and stopped breathing shortly after Oppatt and his colleague arrived.
Senior coroner Mary Hassell asked the witness, one of the first paramedics on the scene, to go through the tragic events.
Oppatt said: “The call came in at 11.40am. We arrived on the scene at 11.47am. The call came in as just an allergic reaction. On arrival at the scene I immediately knew it was life-threatening and that the patient had a high risk of going into cardiac and respiratory arrest.
“We were told by school staff that perhaps someone had chased the patient with cheese and had proceeded to throw it down his T-shirt. That he had an allergic reaction, that he was itchy, his skin was very hot, and that he was having difficulty breathing. Staff had administered two spoons of piriton, an epipen and given him his inhaler.”
Oppatt added: “When we arrived we saw Karan lying on his back on the floor with teachers around him. He appeared to be in a state of pre-arrest. He had very slow respiration – he was gasping for air. His skin was red and there appeared to be hives.”
Oppatt knew he had to call for help but had to go outside because his radio could not get reception. When he returned, his colleague told him their patient had stopped breathing, so they started CPR, gave him adrenaline and used a defibrillator while they waited for backup.
When additional crews arrived, Karan was taken on a stretcher to the ambulance, but he never regained consciousness and died with his parents at his hospital bed in Great Ormond Street Hospital 10 days later on July 9.
– © The Daily Telegraph