5-year-old Kimber Brown died from an overdose of cold medicine says an autopsy report released last week.
Kimber Brown of Hermosa, Colorado, died on February 12 while in the care of her maternal grandmother, Linda Sheets, who had given her the medication to treat her flu-like symptoms, according to the Durango Herald.
Dr. Carol Huser, the La Plata County coroner, said in her report that toxic levels of dextromethorphan and Cetirizine caused the 5-year-old girl’s death. Both drugs are used in cold and allergy medicines.
“In my opinion, the combination of these drugs - which were the ingredients of over-the-counter medication with which Kimber was being treated - caused her death,” Huser wrote.
The 6th Judicial District Attorney’s office is reviewing the case to determine whether criminal charges should be filed. The investigation also intended to answer questions for the family, said District Attorney Todd Risberg.
Huser has called Brown’s death an accident. She hopes that people will be more careful while taking the over-the-counter medicines in the future.
“I have no reason to suspect any ill intent,” Huser wrote. “The degree of negligence in either measuring an inappropriate dose or leaving the medication within reach of a child does not, in any view, rise to the level I require for a certification of homicide.”
“People do not understand medication you buy off from the supermarket shelf can be harmful,” Huser told the Durand Herald. “Common drugs like aspirin, Tylenol and Benadryl will kill you if you take too much of them.”
According to reports in the Durango Herald, the girl had 96 nanograms per milliliter of dextromethorphan in her blood. The upper limit for adults is 40ng/ml. She had 490ng/mil Cetrizine whereas the normal dosage is between 271 and 352 ng/ml. Combining two depressants produced a greater toxicity than each drug would have caused alone, Huser said.
According to studies, deaths due to prescription overdose that result in poisoning have been on the rise in the United States. In 2010, over 2,000 people a day - a total of 831,295 - were seen at emergency departments because of poisoning.