Monday, March 06, 2006

Updated: “Peanut butter kiss” might not have been the cause of death

I took quick note of the story where the coronor handling the death of a 15-year-old girl has said that she did not die from an alergic reaction to peanut butter. It had been previously reported that she had kissed her boyfriend who had just eaten something with peanuts in it. The resulting alergic reaction killed her. Apparently, however, that wasn’t the case:

A 15-year-old girl with a peanut allergy did not die from kissing her boyfriend following his peanut butter snack, a coroner said Friday, countering reports that drew international attention last year.

Saguenay coroner Michel Miron said Christina Desforges' death had a different cause. But he refused further disclosure, saying he first wanted to report to the provincial coroner and examine more test results.

Miron said he was speaking out now to head off an allergy group's plan to use the case as an example in an awareness effort.

I understand his reticence in coming clean with the actual cause of death, but the initial report was so widely reported that I think the public is owed the explanation. The Canadian group who is going to use the incident as a lesson isn’t the only group making the claim. I think we all need to know what really happened now that people are repeating it as the truth when it’s not.

Update: Additional details have come out now. The coroner is saying that a lack of oxygen - cerebral anoxia - was the cause of the damage to her brain. She was suffering an asthma attack at the time of her collapse and this might have had something to do with it. His final report hasn’t been filed yet.