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inquest rules Gareth Colfer-Williams death was complications of measles

(110 Posts)
meditrina Thu 04-Jul-13 06:38:45

I thought I'd post this here as this poor man's death has been mentioned on a number of threads in this forum.

On 1 July, his inquest found that he died of natural causes, from disease: specifically giant cell pneumonia, a complication of measles.

(The Welsh epidemic is officially over, as there were no new cases in June).

bumbleymummy Thu 04-Jul-13 08:52:54

Yes, I read about that a few days ago. I'm sure the fact that he had asthma (which he had previously been hospitalised for), the fact that he was extremely underweight and that he was battling an alcohol problem contributed to the likelihood of him contracting pneumonia. I sincerely hope there is an investigation into why he was sent home after visiting OOH with measles symptoms.

meditrina Thu 04-Jul-13 09:00:43

The other name for this type of pneumonia is Hechts, and it is only seen as a complication of measles, and with severe immune compromise (leukaemia, AIDS). Asthma isn't a factor for this type. Malnutrition (which can be compounded by alcohol abuse) does indeed significantly raise your chances of dying from any measles complications.

bumbleymummy Thu 04-Jul-13 16:14:50

I wasn't trying to say that it wasn't a complication of measles. If he was being treated for asthma, was underweight and his immune system was suppressed then that would have put him at greater risk of complications. The fact that he was sent home despite all that is shocking.

curlew Thu 04-Jul-13 16:19:43

Does the report say whether or not he was vaccinated?

curlew Thu 04-Jul-13 16:21:48

Sorry, just read it properly- and I see that he wasn't.

bumbleymummy Thu 04-Jul-13 16:21:48

That article mentioned that he hadn't. Although his mother said he had.

Crumbledwalnuts Thu 04-Jul-13 16:33:22

Well it says he didn't have the MMR, so not the same as not being vaccinated? Terrible thought - maybe he was sent home because his mother said he was vaccinated , and they assumed vaccine failure was impossible and it wasn't therefore measles.

bumbleymummy Thu 04-Jul-13 16:46:34

How old was he? 25? So maybe before the MMR was introduced? Or maybe just had the one dose that used to be recommended...

curlew Thu 04-Jul-13 16:51:09

" , and they assumed vaccine failure was impossible and it wasn't therefore measles."

I would have thought this was incredibly unlikely- nobody thinks vaccine failure is impossible.

bumbleymummy Thu 04-Jul-13 16:54:11

Sadly, curlew, several people on MN have posted about 'measles/mumps/rubella-like' viruses being diagnosed once doctors find out the child has had the MMR when measles/mumps/rubella were being considered beforehand.

curlew Thu 04-Jul-13 16:57:24

That's a bit different to saying people think vaccine failure is impossible.

It is much less likely that a measles/mumps/rubella like illness will be measles, mumps or rubella in a vaccinated child. By definition.

bumbleymummy Thu 04-Jul-13 16:58:17

So ok to rule it out then? Surely they shouldn't if they are happy to c

bumbleymummy Thu 04-Jul-13 16:58:24

Happy to c

bumbleymummy Thu 04-Jul-13 16:58:58

Bloody phone! This is the only website this happens on!

Happy to consider the possibility of vaccine failure.

JakeBullet Thu 04-Jul-13 17:00:17

Poor man sad.

Crumbledwalnuts Thu 04-Jul-13 17:00:23

but if someone presents with measles symptoms in an outbreak, and they have all the indications of being susceptible to complications - what other explanation is there?

bruffin Thu 04-Jul-13 17:01:26

this article gives more details There was no record of him having been vaccinated against mmr.
Pretty disgusting that the same old posters trying to make excuses for a man dying of a preventable disease. He is the 1 in a 1000 and it is 1 to many. There wouldnt have been an outbreak of measles in south wales if it wasnt for the low uptake caused by scaremongering.

AuntieStella Thu 04-Jul-13 17:21:32

I've just been having a google and have found various things which raise risk of complications in measles, but haven't found a single mention of asthma. Could you link source of info for that? Thanks.

curlew Thu 04-Jul-13 17:29:51

No, not OK to rule it out. Don't rewrite me.

But it is less likely so important that a HCP looks for alternative causes.

JoTheHot Thu 04-Jul-13 17:29:59

I don't understand all the references to his drinking etc. Are the anti's making the point that because their dc don't drink, they thus don't need the MMR? Can you lot not understand that healthy children sometimes grow up into unhealthy adults?

curlew Thu 04-Jul-13 17:30:48

Victim blaming. Disgusting in my opinion.

Crumbledwalnuts Thu 04-Jul-13 17:42:10

Victim blaming? Why? I blame the doctors for not considering measles during an outbreak. Don't you?

bumbleymummy Thu 04-Jul-13 17:42:53

Bruffin, no one is trying to make excuses. It is a fact that he was not a healthy young man and was therefore at more risk of complications. I think it's a bit hypocritical to comment on posts here when the poor man's image has been plastered all over the place to try to increase vaccination rates in a 'it could happen to your healthy child' scaremongering type of way. That's disgusting!

Let's also acknowledge that he may have been too young to have the MMR (introduced in 1988) so saying that he hasn't been vaccinated with it doesnt really mean much. He may still have had a measles vaccine.

Jo, the comments were in relation to this from the article:

The inquest heard that Mr Colfer-Williams had suffered from alcohol problems and just two weeks before his death he had gone into detox leaving his body vulnerable to infection."

Nothing to do with children not drinking. Just pointing out that he was more at risk of complications.

And the old 'victim blaming' gets trotted out again. hmmVery lazy.

Crumbledwalnuts Thu 04-Jul-13 17:43:20

Jo theHot: because as Meditrina points out "Malnutrition (which can be compounded by alcohol abuse) does indeed significantly raise your chances of dying from any measles complications." Perhaps you missed it.

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