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July 02, 2018

Baby dies in her sleep from mother's fentanyl patch

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Amelia Grace Cooper died unexpectedly on June 5, 2016. She passed away after a pain medication patch that her mother had on; got attached to her little body.

According to BBC, an inquest in the matter found that the little girl had high levels of fentanyl in her bloodstream. It’s been said that the pain medication is stronger than morphine.

Amelia Grace Cooper, 15-months-old, was taken to a hospital after she was discovered lifeless in the bed of her mother, Sara Talbot, in St Austell, Cornwall. Her postmortem found that she had high levels of the opioid fentanyl in her bloodstream.

The coroner, Emma Carlyon, said that the cause of death was fentanyl toxicity. However, Carlyon revealed that it was not clear how the patch had become attached to the baby as she was wearing a pajama top covering the area.

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For more on this story go to our Twitter account @amomama_usa. Despite a police investigation, the patch was never found.

The coroner stated that a patch had gone missing from Talbot’s body. She will write to National Health Service chiefs and suggest a nationwide warning is issued.

Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS trust said efforts were being made to make all GPs and pharmacists in the southwest aware of the possible hazards. The little girl’s father, Ben Cooper, 27, a truck driver, took the time to pay tribute to his daughter.

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“The outcome today has given us a line we can now draw under and enable us to move forward, but we will never forget her. She will always be in our hearts, she deserved to live a long and happy life but was so drastically taken from us”

Ben Cooper, BBC, June 27, 2018

He said, “She lit up our lives with her cheeky smile, and her funny little ways – she was adored by us all.” Ben revealed that during the inquest they heard an immense amount of information from experts.

They got to hear from pathologists, the first responders, and the paramedics who were on the scene that June morning. 

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Amelia was described as a normal and healthy child before her death.  The pathologist, Debbie Cook, told the hearing at the Bodmin magistrates court that there were no external injuries and no natural disease that contributed to the child’s death.

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Cook said blood samples revealed a level of fentanyl in Amelia that would have been enough to kill an adult. She said the patch must have been attached firmly to allow the drug to be taken in through the skin.

The drug was said to be able to cause a reduction in breathing and in blood pressure. In some cases, it could also cause seizures and when levels are high there will be a coma.

The levels found in the child were said to be fatal. Detective Con Miller said they did not find any evidence that a third party was involved.

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Talbot had previously paid tribute to her daughter on Facebook. “Our daughter was amazing, she was so clever, beautiful and was my entire life. She always will be,” she wrote at the time.

Fentanyl patches are sometimes prescribed to people who cannot take morphine orally or those who have side effects from it.

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