Lilly-May inquest: 'A defibrillator could have saved her life'

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Lilly-May Page and mumImage source, Family handout
Image caption,
Lilly-May Page died after collapsing from an undiagnosed heart condition near Willow Bank School in Woodley in 2014

A five-year-old girl who died after collapsing outside her school could have been saved by a defibrillator, a coroner has ruled.

Lilly-May Page-Bowden suffered a cardiac arrest as she left Willow Bank School in Woodley, Berkshire, in 2014.

The first paramedics at the scene did not use a defibrillator, an inquest at Reading Coroner's Court heard.

Peter Bedford, senior coroner for Berkshire, concluded Lilly-May died of natural causes.

A post-mortem found Lilly-May had an undiagnosed genetic heart condition that led to her death.

However, Mr Bedford said she probably would have survived if staff from South Central Ambulance Service had used a defibrillator in time.

Image source, Family handout
Image caption,
Lilly-May was later found to have CPVT, a genetic condition leading to an irregular heartbeat

He said that this "neglect" contributed to her death.

A statement read outside the court by the family's solicitor said: "We are concerned that a paramedic was unable to properly understand nationally-recognised resuscitation protocols for the treatment of cardiac arrest in children.

"The paramedic failed to recognise that Lilly-May had a shockable rhythm and failed to deliver appropriate treatment with a defibrillator.

"We now also know that if Lilly-May had been defibrillated within 15 minutes of her collapse, she would have survived and still be with us."

The statement added they had lost Lilly-May "far too early" and the family hoped "a child does not die again for want of defibrillation".

The inquest had earlier heard the first paramedic at the scene said she felt she had not received adequate training.

Deirdre Thompson, director of patient care for South Central Ambulance Service, said the trust had "undertaken a detailed investigation" following the death.

She added: "We accept the findings of the coroner today and offer our sincere apologies to Lilly-May's family."

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