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Inquest into the Death of MKP

Inquest into the Death of MKP (Subject to Suppression Order)

Delivered on :18 June 2015

Delivered at : Perth

Finding of : Deputy State Coroner Vicker

Recommendations :No

Orders/Rules : N/A

Suppression Order : Yes

That the name of the deceased child not be published and that the deceased child be referred to as MKP

Summary : The deceased was a 15 year old child who was living with her foster parents at the time of her death.  The deceased was in the care of the Department for Child Protection and Family Support and had been placed with her foster family at approximately 5 years of age.  The deceased was found by her foster mother early on the morning of 26 December 2011 lying face down in her bed.  Believing the deceased had a seizure her foster mother administered medication and commenced cardiopulmonary resuscitation until the arrival of an ambulance.

Ambulance paramedics continued resuscitation and the deceased was taken to Royal Perth Hospital where she could not be revived and was declared life extinct.

The deceased was severely disabled with level 5 cerebral palsy which significantly affected her ability to function independently.  Her medical care was always dealt with by a multidisciplinary medical team who catered for her many medical difficulties and a combination of services provided by the Cerebral Palsy Association and the Disability Services Commission working in conjunction with the Department for Child Protection and Family Support and Princess Margaret Hospital.

Unfortunately in the months before her death the deceased’s ability to physically self-protect from further respiratory depression was impaired due to her growth and mechanical impairment of her already compromised respiratory drive.  Before a medical plan could be implement for her emergency care should she decline rapidly, an emergency arose on the night of 25 December 2011 and the deceased died before a specific plan could be conceived.

The Coroner found that it is likely the deceased’s respiratory depression contributed to whatever circumstances surrounded her death and her propensity to suffer seizures, especially at times of increased respiratory need.  The Coroner found the deceased’s cause of death was consistent with seizure disorder in association with long standing hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy (known severe cerebral palsy) and death arose by way of natural causes.

The Coroner concluded that the deceased’s placement with her foster family was an optimal placement.  The family’s dedication to the deceased care, stimulation and optimal physical input was extraordinary.  The Coroner concluded by finding there was no doubt the supervision, treatment and care of the deceased by her foster family and foster mother, following her placement with them, was exceptional and allowed the Department to ensure her supervision, treatment and care were outstanding.

Catch Words : Department of Child Protection and Family Support : Disability : Natural Causes.

Last updated: 26-Jun-2015

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