A 15-year-old boy who suffered a cardiac arrest following a house fire later died in hospital, an inquest heard

Mohammed Rehan Hussain, from Blackburn, was rescued from his house in Brunel Walk by firefighters, just after 9pm on Saturday December 1 2018, the hearing at County Hall was told.

He suffered a cardiac arrest at the scene but began breathing again following CPR, and was taken to Royal Blackburn Hospital before being transferred to Alder Hey, Liverpool, later that night.

The inquest heard that Rehan’s condition was stable, and CT scans showed no issues with his brain, although his face and arms were badly burnt, causing his airway and lips to swell.

He also had a build up of soot on his lungs which was cleared using saline solution.

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He was placed on a ventilator and regularly sedated using ketamine and was regularly checked on and his airway monitored by staff in intensive care at Alder Hey.

However, on December 3, during a routine head turn to alleviate pressure on one side of his head, the inquest heard Rehan coughed, causing his airway tube to dislodge, and he suffered a second cardiac arrest.

CPR was performed again and a new airway intubated and his vitals returned to normal, the inquest heard.

READ: Boy, 15, in hospital after blaze rips through house

Despite this, two days later, the 15-year-old suffered a severe lack of oxygen to the brain. He sadly died on December 6, five days after being pulled from the fire.

A medical cause of death was offered as smoke inhalation and two cardiac arrests, one following accidental extubation, due to a house fire.

Coroner Philip Holden called several witnesses to give evidence, including Rehan’s stepfather, Kashif Ali.

Mr Ali told the inquest: “The children had gone to bed about 8.30pm, and about 9pm I heard a loud bang and the light was shaking.

“I went upstairs to see what happened and could see smoke, so I rushed downstairs to tell my wife to get out of the house and went back upstairs to get the children.”

The inquest heard Mr Ali managed to grab two of their five children and take them outside, where his pregnant wife was with two other kids, but when he went back for Rehan, the smoke and heat became too much and he could not reach his son.

Mr Ali said: “Someone called 999, the fire service arrived and they had to tell me to get out of the house and a police officer held me back, and I was shouting to get my son out.

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“They went in and got Rehan and gave him CPR outside. He started breathing and I went with him to the hospital.”

The inquest heard evidence from fire investigation officer, Jim Stone, who concluded it was started in the rear bedroom, by a naked flame, possibly from a lighter, and spread to Rehan’s bedroom, causing extensive smoke damage and destroying his room.

He said: “It was highly likely that the fire was started deliberately, possibly by a minor who did not realise the consequences of their actions when lighting a naked flame.

“There were no smoke detectors in the house but had there been the fire would likely have been detected earlier.”

An attending police officer, Scott Leatherbarrow, provided a statement, in which he said he heard one of the younger children say to another child, ‘this is because you were playing with a lighter’.

Paediatric nurse at Alder Hey, Lorraine Abbot, who was caring for Rehan that day, told the inquest that she and paediatric sister, Anna Lesage, had been carrying out a routine head turn on Rehan at around 12.30pm on December 3, when he coughed and dislodged his airway.

She told the court: “We started CPR on Rehan and I pressed the emergency buzzer as we couldn’t re-insert the airway as his throat was too swollen.”

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It was heard that several other doctors attended the room, before a senior anaesthetist - Dr Naria Masip - managed to insert an airway and Rehan began breathing once more.

He had been in cardiac arrest for around seven minutes.

The inquest also heard that at 3.10am on December 3, Rehan had woken and had been struggling with his airway.

This information was handed over to Ms Abbot and Mrs Lesage on the morning of December 3, who told the court an alternative airway was being sought for the teenager but was not available and was never provided.

Mrs Lesage told the inquest that following the second cardiac arrest, Rehan’s vitals returned to normal and he was seen by a physio some hours later.

Dr Naga Puppala, also giving evidence said: “His lungs were injured because of the fire and it would take a few days to recover, but he was stable and his injuries were survivable.

“We didn’t think a CT scan after the second cardiac arrest was necessary as he was only arrested for seven minutes, so we planned to give him an MRI at a later stage.”

READ: 15-year-old boy who suffered cardiac arrest after Blackburn house fire dies in hospital

Mr Holden told the court that Rehan’s condition deteriorated severely on December 5 and he suffered a hypoxic brain trauma which caused his brain to swell. He died on December 6.

Elizabeth Wheeler, acting as counsel for Alder Hey Hospital Trust, said there had never been a serious investigation into the management of Rehan’s care while on the ICU ward, nor had their been any official complaint made to the Trust following the events of December 3.

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Ms Wheeler said: “There are however ongoing learning and post mortality reviews between multi-disciplinary teams.”

Speaking at the end of proceedings on day one, Mr Holden said it was more than likely that he would be returning a short narrative conclusion, as accidental death and misadventure could both be ruled out.

The inquest restarts at 9.30am on Friday when three final witnesses will be called.