Baby Suffers Fatal Overdose from Mom’s Pain Relief Patch While Sharing Bed

A baby died after a pain relief patch became attached to her skin while she slept with her mother. Amelia Cooper was just 15 months old when she was found lifeless in the bed of her parents, Sara Talbot and Ben Cooper, of Newquay, Cornwall, in southwest England about 250 miles from London.

The coroner has ruled that her likely cause of death was that Amelia had come into contact with Talbot’s medication after sharing a bed with her. A fentanyl opioid patch, which is stronger than morphine, was thought to have been stuck to Amelia’s body for a “period of time,” allowing the pain relief drug to get into her body.

Amelia was described as a “normal” and “healthy” child prior to her death. A toxicology report found the drug in Amelia’s blood, bile and hair samples, but not in her stomach. Pathologist Dr. Debbie Cook told the hearing at Bodmin Magistrates Court: “There were no external injuries to contribute to the death, there were no natural diseases and the relevant findings are the toxicological findings.”

Cook told the court that blood samples revealed a level of fentanyl in Amelia that was within the range of an adult who dies of fentanyl toxicity. “The drug can cause a reduction in breathing, a reduction in blood pressure and in some cases seizures. When levels become high there will be a coma and in high levels such as this case, then it can be fatal,” Cook said. She added, “To me it suggests that the patch was attached firmly enough to provide transdermal of the drug.”

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