No answers in Brierfield baby death probe

Burnley Magistrates' Court.
Burnley Magistrates' Court.

Medical experts could not discover how a baby girl, who was born premature, died at her home in Brierfield.

Three-month-old Samana Ahmed was found not breathing on the morning of July 28th by mother Sobia Walayat at their home in Mansfield Crescent.

The baby’s father, Mr Tathar Ahmed, told an inquest at Burnley Coroner’s Court his wife could not move on with her life as she blamed herself for sleeping the baby on her side.

He said: “Since Samana died, my wife has been trawling the internet trying to find out the reason. She feels guilty.”

The youngest of five children, Samana was born six weeks early, and placed in the neo-natal intensive care unit for two days.

The inquest heard Samana was difficult to settle and would cry a lot. Her mother would place her on her side to help her sleep.

Paediatric pathologist Dr Melanie Newbold who conducted the post-mortem on Samana, said she could not find a definite cause of death despite extensive tests.

Dr Newbold said: “I could find no abnormalities or evidence of bacteria that could have caused death.

“There were no metabolic issues and I couldn’t find anything from tissue samples. It’s by no means uncommon to fail to find a cause of death for a baby that’s died in the first year of life.

“Sleeping on the back is the safest position for a baby but there is no evidence that sleeping on her side caused this baby’s death.

“Nothing has been identified to suggest anything other than a natural cause. Medical science cannot at this stage find a cause of death in every case.”

Addressing the grieving parents, East Lancashire Coroner Mr Richard Taylor told them not to blame themselves for Samana’s death.

Recording a conclusion of undiagnosed natural causes, Mr Taylor said: “I hope this has assisted a little, although it has been somewhat in vain.”