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Finchley baby Praise Rustvara died of natural causes
A baby who had “too many things wrong with her” died of natural causes, an inquest heard today.
Praise Rustarva, of Long Lane, Finchley, died after collapsing at home on September 2, 2012 when she was just seven months old.
The baby girl, born on March 18, had Down’s syndrome and also suffered from seizures, a congenital heart defect and laryngomalacia, meaning she had a ‘soft larynx’ so had to be fed by a nasal tube.
An inquest at Barnet Coroners Court, in Wood Lane, heard today how the child seemed to be “recovering well” from heart surgery on June 6, 2012.
Dr Hsia, who performed the operation at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, said: “The operation was successful but even when complex operations are successful, the body has to recover from it.
“Nothing during the surgery gave me cause for concern and I was content with the recovery she was making.”
Coroner Andrew Walker also questioned whether food going down her windpipe was a cause of death, due to her nasal tube.
Dr Robert Yates, who saw Praise after her operation, said he did not think her death was “unexpected”.
He said: “She was difficult to operate on because she had it early and had a lot of problems but I was gratified having seen her things were looking better.
“The risk of aspiration was high. Her parents had been trained to feed her through the tube at home, but sometimes food can become dislodged and go through the trachea instead of the oesophagus.”
Praise was discharged from Great Ormond Street Hospital and admitted to Chase Farm Hospital in Enfield on July 17, before later being admitted to the Royal London Hospital, in Whitechapel, on August 8.
Dr Irene Sheimberg, the consultant pathologist at the hospital, said there was not enough evidence to prove whether the baby had died of aspiration.
She said: “Her larynx was working well but the problem was that this baby had too many things wrong with her. Her death could have been a combination of factors.”
The baby had been discharged from hospital prior to her death, and multiple health visitors noted the child was “doing well” and had no worrying symptoms.
On the night she died, her mother was holding her after a feed when her breathing became fast, but she was not coughing and there was no evidence she was in distress.
After she collapsed, she was taken by ambulance to Barnet General Hospital, Wellhouse Lane, where she was pronounced dead at 9.20pm.
The coroner recorded a conclusion of natural causes.
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