Our 'beautiful' daughter, 17, died suddenly after going to hospital for a routine op | The Sun

A TEENAGE girl tragically died after suffering an allergic reaction to a drug given to her during a routine surgery.

Alexandra Briess, 17, was given rocuronium – a commonly used anaesthetic – after having her tonsils removed in the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading on May 30, 2021.

An inquest into her death of the "bright and well loved" teen heard that following a tonsillectomy Alexandra required further surgery to stop some post-surgery bleeding.

During the procedure she had experienced anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction, to rocuronium, a drug which she'd never been given before.

Her severe allergy lead to "sudden deterioration and cardiac arrest" before she passed away on May 31.

Tanya Ednan-Laperouse OBE, co-founder of The Natasha Allergy Research Foundation, said: "Our hearts go out to the family of Alexandra.

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"Their tragic loss once again sheds a powerful light on the growing numbers of young people killed by anaphylaxis."

According to the NHS, hospital admissions for anaphylactic shock for adults increased from 3751 to 4756 from 2019 to 2020.

The condition, which is most commonly triggered by insect stings, medicines and food, only kills about 10 per cent of people who experience it.

A tribute page set up in her memory raised almost £9,000, with friends fondly remembering the "beautiful" girl who was a "loyal and loving friend with a great sense of fun".

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Alexandra leaves behind her retired doctor father, David, and mother Tanya who is a GP practice nurse.

The family, who live in a £1.5million home in Henley-On-Thames, Oxfordshire, did not wish to comment.


Senior coroner for Berkshire, Heidi Connor has now written a Report for the Prevention of Future Death to the Health Secretary Steve Barclay, the NHS, and allergy organisations demanding change.

Allergy charities in the UK have long been calling for more funding to research the field that is notoriously under-funded.

Heidihas called for a new job role to be created within the NHS to act as the leader for allergies at a national level, overseeing and coordinating funding and research.

Currently, the organisations are already in place and show 'goodwill' to understanding allergies, but they need to be 'joined up' and work together.

If not, more people are at risk of deaths, Heidi writes in her report.

She said: "The only way to improve understanding and prevent or reduce future deaths is to gather information nationally and fund appropriate research.

"Appropriate organisations already exist, and there is a lot of goodwill towards improving understanding in this area. It does however require national leadership and 'joining up' of these organisations.

"There is significant goodwill and desire to improve amongst numerous organisations involved in anaphylaxis work.

"What is lacking is national leadership and funding. In my view, consideration should be given to creating a leadership role and responsibility within NHS England to coordinate a national approach."

Heidi said it should be mandatory that fatal reactions are referred to the UK Fatal Anaphylaxis Registry (UKFAR), something that charities have been calling for for a while.


In her report, Heidi cited three cases in which three Brits died from allergies and coroners raised similar concerns.

They were Celia Marsh, a 42 year old mum who died after eating a 'vegan' Pret A Manger wrap with milk in, 18 year old Shante Turay-Thomas who ate hazelnut at her family home, and 14 year old Ruben Bousquet who had popcorn contaminated with milk at a cinema.

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In all three cases, their coroners warned there needs to be more funding to stop allergy deaths.

"This is not new territory," Heidi said.

What are the symptoms of anaphylactic shock?

Anaphylaxis usually develops suddenly and gets worse very quickly.

The symptoms include:

  • feeling lightheaded or faint
  • breathing difficulties – such as fast, shallow breathing
  • wheezing
  • a fast heartbeat
  • clammy skin
  • confusion and anxiety
  • collapsing or losing consciousness

There may also be other allergy symptoms, including an itchy, raised rash (hives); feeling or being sick; swelling (angioedema) or stomach pain.

Source: NHS

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