Cot to blame for baby's death
A poorly constructed cot caused the death of an Ashburton baby, a coroner has ruled.
Liiana Ato Mamapomisa died in Christchurch Hospital's intensive care unit on March 26, 2012 - the day after her first birthday - following a cot accident at her Ashburton home two days earlier.
In findings released today, Coroner Richard McElrea said Liiana's death fell outside the classification of sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI) by one day and confirmed her death was caused by being put in an unsafe sleeping environment.
Liiana had woken in her cot about 8.30am on March 24, 2012, and was put back to bed 40 minutes later after being fed.
She was found by her aunt some time later, dangling by her chin off the side of the mattress, with the cot's bars trapping her from falling out and pressing her head and neck against the mattress.
The family attempted to resuscitate her before paramedics arrived and took her to Ashburton Hospital.
Doctors continued to attempt to stabilise and resuscitate her before she was flown to Christchurch Hospital and placed on life support.
It was later decided to turn off the life support due to a lack of brain function.
Forensic pathologist Dr Rachael van der Griend said Liiana's death was caused by brain injury from positional asphyxia in a cot accident.
Police did not learn of the cot incident until after Liiana died, compromising an examination of the scene.
Police examined the cot, but determined that any reconstruction would fail to give an accurate representation of what had happened.
Detective Millington told the coroner the cot was constructed loosely and he believed it was mechanically possible that Liiana could have slipped down between the cot base and the side rails.
Liiana's mother said in a statement to the coroner that the family had been given the cot "because it was kind of an unexpected pregnancy".
"We had gotten rid of the stuff from the other kids," she said.
McElrea did not make any formal recommendations in his findings, saying it was "another case where the facts speak for themselves".
- © Fairfax NZ News
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