'Bright and bubbly' girl, 17, dies from asthma attack sparked by allergic reaction to dogs after party hosts refuse to give address for 999 call because ambulance 'may have informed social services'

  • Kiana Owen, 17, suffered severe asthma attack after allergic reaction to dogs
  • She had been at a house party and collapsed after ringing an ambulance
  • Miss Owen had never been to property before and couldn't give proper location
  • Householders didn't give address 'over fears social services would be called'?

Kiana Owen, 17, pictured, died after suffering a severe allergic reaction after coming into contact with dogs at a house party?

Kiana Owen, 17, pictured, died after suffering a severe allergic reaction after coming into contact with dogs at a house party?

A 'bright and bubbly' teenage girl died from a severe asthma attack after suffering an allergic reaction to dogs at a house party, an inquest heard.

Kiana Owen was socialising at a house in Wallsend, near Newcastle, after a friend's 18th birthday when she started struggling to breathe.

The 17-year-old went into the back garden and called an ambulance for herself at 1.18am, but had never been to the property before and could not give her exact location to the call handler.

An inquest at Newcastle Coroners' Court heard that when she asked the couple who lived there for the address, they did not give it out because emergency services 'may have informed social services'.

Miss Owen, from Wallsend, then went into the back lane behind the garden where she fell unconscious and started to fit.

After eventually discovering her exact location from other people at the party, the ambulance arrived on George Road at 1.38am to find her in cardiac arrest.

She was taken to the Royal Victoria Infirmary where she was pronounced dead at 2.53am.

Now Miss Owen's family has paid tribute to a bubbly teenager who could achieve anything she set her mind to, and said that in the days leading up to her death she expressed hopes of training as a flight attendant.

Miss Owen's mother Stephanie said: 'She was bubbly and she was a real go-getter. If she set her mind to something she would do it.

'She spent a lot of time on the coast, she liked computer games, shopping, going to the cinema - she was just a normal teenager.'

At the time of her death in September 2016 Miss Owen was in between jobs, but Stephanie said: 'A few days before she died she said she wanted to go to Leeds to train to be an air hostess.'

Giving evidence at the inquest, chest physician Dr Samuel Stenton said the teenager's attack was so severe it would have been 'irredeemable' within six minutes of her making the call.

He said: 'At some point it would have been treatable but clearly it's difficult to pinpoint exactly the time.

'If the ambulance had arrived at 1.18am and she had been treated she would probably have survived, although even that's not certain.'

The hearing was told Miss Owen had suffered from asthma from an early age, and had a mild asthma attack two weeks earlier after having an allergic reaction to her grandma's dogs.

On September 2 last year she had been out at a friend's 18th birthday party in Wallsend, and decided she wanted to go somewhere else after the party.

Miss Owen called her friend Callum Sherriff, who was at a house on George Road,and asked if she could join him with his friends.

She was unable to give out the address to an ambulance because the householders feared paramedics 'may call social services' and ended up collapsing behind the house. Pictured is a floral tribute left to her in the road

She was unable to give out the address to an ambulance because the householders feared paramedics 'may call social services' and ended up collapsing behind the house. Pictured is a floral tribute left to her in the road

The inquest heard she had never been there before and had never met the couple who lived there, Lewis Collins and Kimberley Heston.

After about 15 minutes at the property she complained of feeling unwell and went outside for some fresh air.

Miss Heston, who was pregnant at the time of the tragedy, said: 'I didn't know she was allergic to dogs but we put the dogs in the kitchen when she started feeling unwell.

'I heard her shouting outside and I remember saying: "Would you please leave the garden?" - because I was pregnant and I didn't want social services coming round, so I asked Callum to take her down the lane.

'That's why I didn't want to give my address - I didn't know she was on the phone to the ambulance at the time.

'I didn't know it was that bad until later when everyone went outside and she was in the alley, on the floor.

'Me and my partner were helping Kiana while someone else was on the phone - that's when I knew it was serious.'

ANIMALS, ALLERGIES AND ASTHMA?

Pet allergies can develop at any stage of life, which means even those who had cats and dogs when they were younger can develop an allergy later in life.

The reaction is most often caused by proteins found in the animals' skin which are harmless to most people.

Touching or inhaling these allergens can cause the immune system to overreact and release a chemical called histamine, which sparks the reaction.

For those with asthma, the release of the histamine can make symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, itchy skin and trouble breathing much worse, and in some cases, fatal.??

Giving evidence, Detective Sergeant Kimberley Flynn said: 'From the statements that were taken it would appear Kimberley and Lewis didn't want the ambulance or police to attend because potentially that would have informed social services.

'During the first phone call Kiana can be heard asking the occupants of the house for the address.

'Background noise can be heard that indicates the occupants are aware that she's asking.

'Then there follows a discussion that they'll take her to Carville School.'

Detective Sergeant Flynn said that police considered any potential criminal offences, but said: 'We were advised that there was no duty of care, and that put us in a position where there was no legal case to be answered.'

Recording a conclusion of death by natural causes, coroner Karen Dilks said: 'Kiana had suffered an acute and rapidly progressing attack which was irredeemable in less than six minutes of her call at 1.18am.

'The appropriate conclusion is that Kiana's death was due to natural causes. I don't have evidence to the required standard to include any of the issues as being contributory factors.'

But she added: 'The evidence has made it clear to me that some of the civilian witnesses can certainly learn from this experience.

'There may not be a Good Samaritan rule, we may not be compelled to help others, we may sometimes be inclined to put our own interests before those of others, however some of the decisions we make can have catastrophic consequences.

'In this case there is no evidence to suggest that's the case, but it could so easily have been otherwise.'

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