What's the difference between a heart attack and a cardiac arrest?
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Giorgia Green, 14, from Derby, enjoyed spraying her favourite deodorant on blankets in her room. Spritzing the same make that her mum used provided the autistic girl with a sense of comfort and relaxation, according to her dad Paul Green. Sadly, this calming practice has been linked to Giorgia’s death on May 11, 2022.
The 14-year-old girl was reported to have suffered a cardiac arrest after inhaling aerosol deodorant.
The official coroner report on Giorgia’s death recorded the conclusion as misadventure. The medical cause of death was “unascertained but consistent with inhalation of aerosol”.
Not “the same” as a heart attack, cardiac arrest details the sudden loss of heart function, breathing and consciousness, the Mayo Clinic explains.
Without immediate medical treatment, sudden cardiac arrest can lead to death.
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The warning signs of this emergency include sudden collapse, no pulse, no breathing and loss of consciousness.
Giorgia’s older brother found her unresponsive in her bedroom last May.
Her father told BBC: “Her door was open, so it wasn’t as if it was an enclosed environment.
“The exact amount [of deodorant] isn’t clear but it would be more than you would normally spray.
“At some point her heart stopped as a result of breathing it in.”
In response, the British Aerosol Manufacturers’ Association (BAMA) said deodorants have “very clear warnings”.
It is required by law that aerosol deodorants must be printed with the warning “keep out of reach of children”.
Most aerosol deodorants also come with a warning that states “solvent abuse can kill instantly”. This is not a legal requirement but is recommended by BAMA due to the risk of people intentionally inhaling aerosols to get high.
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However, Giorgia’s parents said the writing is small and they believe many parents buy deodorant for their children without noticing the warning.
“People don’t know how dangerous the contents of those tins can be,” said the father.
The parents believe the warning should be changed to “solvent use can kill instantly”, because Giorgia didn’t abuse her deodorant.
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), “deodorant” was mentioned on 11 death certificates between 2001 and 2020.
The ONS said the substances have been linked to a number of deaths, warning: “The inhalation of butane or propane gas can lead to heart failure.”
BAMA said in a statement: “The British Aerosol Manufacturers’ Association (BAMA) takes very seriously any incident involving aerosol products, and we were deeply saddened to learn of the death of someone so young.
“As an industry association we work with manufacturers to ensure that aerosols are made to the highest safety standards and are labelled with very clear warnings and usage instructions and recommend that anyone using an aerosol does so in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
“We also recommend applying a number of additional warnings and usage instructions, beyond those required by regulation, and continue to review these to encourage the safe use of aerosols.”
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