Restaurant owner did "everything she could" to save teenager's life
8:00am Wednesday 1st August 2012 in News
A restaurant owner has told how she gave desperate mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to a teenage girl dying from an allergic reaction after eating chicken satay.
Ritu Dutt, who owns the popular Moomba restaurant in Lacy Road, Putney, said she did "everything she could" once Natalia Green started choking after biting into a piece of chicken satay.
The 17-year-old, who had a number of allergies including peanuts, dairy products and beef, was part of a group celebrating a friend's 18th birthday at the restaurant on January 28 this year.
But Ms Dutt, who has an allergy herself, said: "It was awful. I did everything I could to help, I tried to give her mouth to mouth and I can even remember tasting the bile in her mouth as I tried to help.
"We have taken all the precautions we could and have warnings on the menus about allergies. If I had known about it, there is no way I would have sent out the food.
"If she had said she was allergic I would've thrown the whole plate away. "She died in my arms, it was unbelievably traumatising and I'm still having counselling now to try to come to terms with it
"I have been in the business for 18 years and have owned this restaurant for the last seven years so I feel I'm very experienced in this industry."
The party group had ordered a number of plates of nibbles and snacks but Ms Green had not informed anyone at the restaurant about her allergies.
The teenager, from Warwick Gardens in Kensington, picked up a satay skewer and after taking one bite she began to feel tingling on her lips and shortly afterwards she collapsed at the bottom of a flight of stairs.
Miss Green rushed to the toilet in the restaurant and was heard retching before emerging looking pale and unwell.
A friend who saw her outside the toilet said: "She looked clearly unwell, she looked pale and unhappy."
Dr John Thorpe-Beeston, a parent of one of the girls at the party and a consultant at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, rushed to the scene to help the resuscitation efforts.
He told Westminster Coroner's Court last Wednesday: "She was not making any respiratory efforts, I couldn't detect a pulse, and she looked pale, so I diagnosed she was in arrest at this stage."
Desperate attempts were made to try and tried to revive her but she went into a coma and suffered severe brain damage before her life support machine was switched off on February 6.
Recording a verdict of death by natural causes, Dr Fiona Wilcox said: 'There is only one verdict I can give, and that is one of natural causes after an allergic reaction to peanuts."
The first paramedic on the scene that night did not have any adrenaline shots due to staffing shortages, the inquest heard, and turned up later than the target eight minutes for priority calls. But Dr Wilcox said this did not affect the eventual outcome.
She also praised Miss Green's friends who tried to save her, saying: 'I want to give my immense thanks and admiration to the young people at the scene who acted with fortitude and determination in doing everything they could to assist."