Student died in bath following epileptic fit

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A mother found her teenage daughter had drowned while taking a bath following an epileptic seizure, an inquest heard.

Charlotte Crust, 18, from Wattisham, died on July 2 despite lengthy attempts by paramedics and doctors to revive her.

An inquest into her death heard that Charlotte, who had a history of epilepsy and was on medication, had gone for a bath at her home in The Green at around 7.30pm.

After becoming concerned that she had not heard any noise from her daughter for some time, Amanda Crust went upstairs to check on her.

“She found Charlotte submerged under the water in the bath,” said West Suffolk coroner Dr Peter Dean during Thursday’s hearing.

“She tried to resuscitate her and called paramedics.”

A police report by Pc Carl Smith, who arrived on the scene as paramedics tried to save Charlotte, said it had been suggested to him that the likely cause of death was suffocation from drowning.

Mr Dean said there were no signs of anything untoward or suspicious and everything possible had been done to help Charlotte, a student at university, over a 75-minute period.

“Despite prolonged attempts to save her, she failed to respond to resuscitation,” he said.

A post-mortem examination showed the teenager’s death was caused by an accident during a seizure, while a toxicology report showed the amount of medication in her system was below “therapeutic” levels. This may have increased the chance of a fit, the inquest heard.

Recording a narrative verdict, Dr Dean said a combination of natural disease and drowning were to blame.

“Charlotte died from drowning following an epileptic fit in the bath,” he said. “My thoughts are with her family.”