Brentwood woman, eight months pregnant, dies suddenly

PUBLISHED: 12:12 02 August 2013 | UPDATED: 12:12 02 August 2013

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A woman who was eight months pregnant died suddenly at home, despite having no underlying health conditions, an inquest heard this week.

Rachel Taylor, 35, of Stock Lane, Ingatestone, was alone when she collapsed and died suddenly on October 17, 2012.

Doctors said there was no obvious health reason for the death of the mother-of-three, who was expecting her fourth child.

The inquest on Tuesday at New Bridge House, Chelmsford, heard that her partner, Ron Davies, had returned home at 12.30pm to find Rachel collapsed and lying face down.

He called an ambulance and performed CPR on her until paramedics arrived and took over, but she was pronounced dead and her unborn baby did not survive.

Dr Ben Swift, a consultant forensic pathologist at Broomfield Hospital who carried out a post-mortem examination on Miss Taylor, said he had found no obvious cause of her death.

He said her lungs and heart appeared normal and ruled out any link between her death and her pregnancy.

Of the baby, Dr Swift said: “The male child 
was normal, healthy and developed.”

‘No evidence’

He said that Miss Taylor was diagnosed with gestational diabetes but added: “There were no complications as part of that. There was no identifiable cause of death.”

Dr Swift said this led to him to believe that the cause was sudden adult death (SAD) syndrome. He has advised family members to speak to their GPs to “try to exclude the possibility of a pre-existing condition or irregular heartbeat”.

Caroline Beasley-Murray, the coroner for Essex, said: “This was a sudden, unexpected death. There wasn’t a doctor that could issue a medical certificate on her cause of death.

“Dr Swift, however, arrived at the conclusion as unascertained.

“Because so many possibilities were excluded, this tends towards SAD syndrome. There’s no evidence for that and it can’t be seen either.”

She recorded a narrative verdict that Miss Taylor had died in the late stages of pregnancy in circumstances consistent with sudden adult death syndrome.

She told Miss Taylor’s family: “Clearly she was a much-loved lady, not only by family but by her friends too. I would like to express my sympathy to you on her loss and hope you can remember happy memories of her.”

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