Allergic teenager died after chicken and chips takeaway

A teenager with a nut allergy died after taking one bite of chicken and chips from a Wirral takeaway, an inquest has heard.

Christopher Smith's mother, a nurse, helped paramedics try to save his life after he went into anaphylactic shock.

The 17-year-old had a known nut allergy but had eaten the same dish previously.

The inquest heard Christopher refused to use his adrenalin pen. His mother administered adrenalin in an ambulance but he died on route to the hospital.

The teenager, a pupil at St Anselm's College, was a "bright student" who was planning to study at university, coroner Christopher Johnson was told.

Coroner's officer Donald Johnston told the hearing at Wallasey Town Hall that Kathryn Smith had told him Christopher had been diagnosed with a severe nut allergy when he was three and always had an adrenaline pen.

'I'm not using it'

On the night of his death, Christopher had chicken and OK sauce and a half-portion of rice and half-portion of chips from a takeaway near his home in Wallasey.

"He had chosen this meal as he had apparently done so several times previously, both at this establishment and others," the officer said.

"He had never been to a Chinese restaurant and Kathryn told me that the only Chinese food he ate was prepared and cooked by her as she knew what oils she was using during cooking."

The teenager took just one bite of the meal before telling his mother he was suffering a reaction.

Mrs Smith said Christopher had used an inhaler and antihistamine immediately, Mr Johnston said.

His mother told him to use his adrenaline pen and an ambulance was called, the inquest heard.

But he refused to use the pen, telling her: "Put it down, I'm not using it."

'Suffered immeasurably'

Paramedics arrived within four minutes and Christopher was able to walk to the ambulance but his condition deteriorated quickly.

Mrs Smith asked if she could help paramedics and then prepared a dose of adrenaline and administered it into his upper right arm, the hearing heard.

But his condition continued to deteriorate and he had a cardiac arrest in the ambulance.

The meal's ingredients were not tested after Christopher's death, the coroner was told.

But pathologist Dr Jo McPartland carried out a post-mortem examination and said Christopher's death was "most likely" the result of his peanut allergy.

The cause of death was anaphylactic shock and asthma, she added.

The coroner recorded a verdict of death by natural causes and said he wanted to extend his "sincere sympathies" to Christopher's family.

Mrs Smith's solicitor, Tony Nelson, said Mrs Smith was a "dutiful mother who has suffered immeasurably".

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