London (CNN)A 9-year-old girl who died after an asthma attack is thought to be the first person in the world to have air pollution listed as a cause of death in a landmark coroner's ruling.
Air pollution a cause of UK girl's death, finds global landmark ruling
Ella Kissi-Debrah lived in Lewisham, southeast London, near one of the UK capital's busiest roads, the South Circular. She died in hospital in February 2013 after suffering a cardiac arrest from which she could not be resuscitated, the coroner reported on Wednesday.
The girl suffered from severe asthma that caused episodes of cardiac and respiratory arrest, and frequent emergency hospital admissions over three years.
Her medical cause of death was listed as acute respiratory failure, severe asthma and air pollution exposure. The coroner's conclusion was that Ella "died of asthma contributed to by exposure to excessive air pollution."
The charities Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation said Ella was the first person in world history to have air pollution listed as a cause of death on her death certificate.
Assistant coroner Philip Barlow said that Ella's mother had not been given information about air pollution and asthma that could have led to her take steps which "might" have prevented her daughter's death, according to PA Media.
"Air pollution was a significant contributory factor to both the induction and exacerbation of her asthma," said Barlow as he gave his conclusions at Southwark Coroner's Court after a two-week inquest.