Coroner's Court of Western Australia

Inquest into the Death of Child L (Name Subject to Suppression Order)

Inquest into the Death of Child L

Delivered on : 12 June 2019

Delivered at : Perth

Finding of : Coroner Jenkin

Recommendations : N/A

Orders/Rules : N/A

Suppression Order : Yes

Suppression of the deceased’s name from publication and is to be referred to as Child L.

Suppression of the deceased’s sister’s name or any evidence leading to identification is not be made.

Summary : The deceased was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder when he was about 3-years of age and also had a cognitive impairment. He had his first known tonic clonic seizure in December 2012 and was diagnosed with generalised epilepsy disorder in 2013. The deceased was prescribed medication to control his tonic clonic and absence seizures. The deceased’s father, who was responsible for the deceased’s day-to-day care, also had the care of the deceased’s brother was caring for the deceased’s younger brother who was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.

On 26 March 2015 at about 3.30 pm, the deceased reportedly had a tonic clonic seizure that lasted for three to four minutes. At about 1.00 am on 27 March 2015, the deceased was at home with his family. He went into his father’s bedroom and asked for a sandwich and his father got up and went with him into the lounge room. Afterwards, they lay together talking and at about 3.30 am, the deceased’s father got up and went to his own bed.

At 7.30 am on 27 March 2015, the deceased’s father woke and found the deceased lying face down on the floor near the toilet. The deceased was unresponsive while his father began CPR, his father’s partner called emergency services. The deceased was taken to hospital where his death was confirmed.

The Coroner found the deceased’s death was consistent with epileptic seizure with aspiration and death occurred by way of natural causes. The evidence suggested that the most likely explanation for the deceased’s death was SUDEP (sudden unexpected death in epilepsy).

Catch Words : SUDEP : Natural Causes.

Last updated: 15-Jul-2019

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