Page last updated at 19:32 GMT, Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Asthma death pupil 'neglected' by Stockport school

Sam Linton (Pic: Souter PR)
Sam Linton died after having an asthma attack at school

A boy who died after an asthma attack at a Greater Manchester school died of natural causes contributed to by neglect, an inquest jury ruled.

Valuable time was lost as Sam Linton, 11, was made to sit in a corridor at Offerton High, Stockport, while he struggled to breathe, the jury heard.

His death was significantly contributed to by neglect on an individual and systemic level, the inquest said.

The boy died a few hours later in hospital on 4 December 2007.

His parents have called for stronger implementation of first aid procedures at his school.

'Truly astounding'

Speaking for the family after the inquest, Jonathan Betts, partner at Irwin Mitchell in Manchester, said: "This was a truly tragic incident in which a loving family have lost a treasured son under deeply worrying circumstances.

"The inquest has shown the lack of training, lack of communication between staff, lack of record keeping and a complete absence of common sense in the event of a child suffering from an asthma attack.

Paul and Karen Linton said ''many mistakes'' were made

"The fact that no-one called an ambulance during the hours that Sam was suffering from a prolonged asthma attack is truly astounding and very troubling for all parents."

Stockport council has said it will be considering the inquest verdict as a matter of urgency and would take any necessary actions.

The school said it had changed procedures after Sam's death.

Sue Hunter, from the health charity Asthma UK, said schools have to be aware how serious the condition can be.

"Once schools have increased their awareness of asthma, of what it looks and feels like, and have an understanding of what to do when things go wrong we will hopefully stop seeing children dying," she said.

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