Intended for healthcare professionals


Air pollution from road traffic contributed to girl’s death from asthma, coroner concludes

BMJ 2020; 371 doi: (Published 17 December 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;371:m4902
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. The BMJ

A coroner has concluded that air pollution from road traffic made a significant contribution to the death of a 9 year old girl with asthma, in a groundbreaking case.

The case of Ella Adoo Kissi-Debrah, who lived near a heavily congested road in south London, is thought to be the first in which exposure to air pollution has been recorded as a medical cause of death.

Ella, who had severe hypersecretory asthma, died in February 2013, having been taken to hospital nearly 30 times over the previous three years. On 15 February 2013, after an asthmatic episode at home, she had a cardiac arrest at University Hospital Lewisham from which she could not be resuscitated.

She lived less than …

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