13-year-old boy dies of allergic reaction after having ‘cheese thrown down his T-shirt’
20 September 2018|10 Muharram 1440|Independent
A London schoolboy died from an allergic reaction after he allegedly had cheese thrown down his T-shirt, an inquest has heard.
Karanbir Cheema, 13, was taken to hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest at William Perkin Church of England High School in Greenford on 28 June last year. He died 10 days later.
The teenager was in a state of anaphylactic shock when found by emergency services at the school, St Pancras Coroner’s Court heard on Wednesday.
Kieran Oppatt, the first paramedic on the scene, said he was told by school staff that “perhaps someone had chased the patient with cheese and had proceeded to throw it down his T-shirt”.
“He appeared to be in a state of pre-arrest, he had very slow respirations, he was gasping for air,” Mr Oppatt recalled.
“He appeared to be suffering from an allergic reaction.
“His skin was red and there appeared to be hives.”
The 13-year-old was severely allergic to wheat, gluten, all dairy products, eggs and all nuts.
Despite treating the teenager with Piriton – an inhaler and a special pen used for injection in cases of anaphylactic shock – Karanbir continued to struggle.
Mr Oppatt requested additional support when the boy went into cardiac arrest.
He and his colleague began to perform CPR on the 13-year-old, gave him adrenaline and also used a defibrillator while they waited for back-up to arrive.
When additional emergency support arrived, Karanbir was taken to Great Ormond Street Hospital, where he died on 9 July.
His mother Rina Cheema said her son had learnt how to successfully manage his allergies.
“I am devastated as a mother after losing my son and my family has lost their brother,” she said.
“He was extremely bright – he knew very well how to manage his condition. I brought him up by myself. I trained him to read all about his condition. We want answers.”
Another schoolboy, also 13 at the time, was initially arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, but has not been charged.
Detective Sergeant Christian Rodgers, explaining a list of potential witnesses with the coroner ahead of the inquest, said the alleged throwing of cheese had been “pupil on pupil”.
“The person involved is no longer at the school,” he said.
The inquiry is ongoing.