Brexit: Labour peer GRILLED over Corbyn’s strategy
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Gaia Young, 25, stopped breathing properly around 16 hours after she was admitted to University College Hospital in July last year after suffering a sudden headache. Medics said they initially inspected she was intoxicated when she arrived at A&E “confused” and “falling asleep” late in the evening. However, an inquest at St Pancras Coroner’s Court heard the daughter of Labour peer Michael Young never drank excessively or took recreational drugs and had no underlying health problems.
Senior coroner Mary Hassell found Ms Young had died of cerebral edema – a condition that causes the brain to swell.
However, the cause of the condition remains unknown after a series of missteps in Ms Young’s care.
Crucial scans were not carried out and clinicians may have developed “confirmation bias” which caused them to miss other signs, the inquest heard.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Lady Young was not allowed to go with her daughter to the hospital and said she was “not kept informed” of her condition.
She said her daughter had been out cycling in the day and later met friends before developing a “sudden, severe headache with awful vomiting”.
Gaia Young (Image: NC)
Gaia Young, 25, passed away last year (Image: NC)
Dr Zoe Veary, who saw her soon after her hospital admission, said in a written statement: “My initial concern was that she could be intoxicated because of her age and her history of being with friends.”
But Lady Young said: “(Gaia) was a responsible, polite, clean-living young woman with a keen interest in her own health and in her intellectual and professional development.
“If anyone had asked me I would have told them, but it’s simply not possible that she would have been recreationally intoxicated.”
She added: “How can it be that a previously healthy young woman dies in a hospital and yet nobody knows why?”
Dr Daniel Wallis, a consultant at UCH, said it was possible the 25-year-old’s sodium levels had been too high – a condition known as hypernatremia – but this was not picked up in tests carried out by medics.
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Lord Michael Young (Image: PA)
Ms Young may have been particularly susceptible to hypernatremia because of her slim build, Dr Wallis added.
The 25-year-old was also held in the foetal position during her time in hospital, which Lady Young suggested may have increased the pressure on her brain.
Ms Hassell described the case as a “lost chance” and added that the hospital had launched a review in the wake of the incident.
She said: “It is clear from the evidence Gaia died from cerebral edema.
“The cause of this remains unclear.
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St Pancras Coroner’s Court (Image: PA)
“It is possible that the cause of the cerebral edema was hypernatremia.
“If the cause was hypernatremia, better management would have afforded her a better chance of survival.
“A CT (computerised tomography) scan was not conducted as it should have been on admission to hospital late on July 17 2021.
“It is unclear what it would have found.
“A CT scan the following day showed subtle signs of raised intracranial pressure, but this was not noted.”