- According to pathologist, about 10 to 20 deaths a year are caused by allergic reaction to hair extension adhesive
- The court hears that sweating from dancing all night may possibly have triggered glue to enter Atasha Graham’s blood stream
Thirty four years old Atasha Graham was Killed by her hair Extensions. She died after suffering a significant hypersensitive reaction probably caused by the adhesive in her hair extensions, an autopsy report proved today.
Atasha Graham, a housewife, collapsed after a night out dancing at a club where her boyfriend was the DJ.
The hearing at Southwark Coroner’s Court in London was told the allergic reaction may possibly have been triggered by the adhesive used to fasten her hair extensions – but there was no way to be hundred per cent sure.
According to what Doctor Michael Heath, the Home Office pathologist told the inquest: ‘I’ve seen cases where people using solvent to apply hair extensions have actually caused anaphylactic shock.
‘There are about 10 to 20 deaths a year in this country, many more in America. I have seen four in the last three months.’
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The probe heard that ‘fun-loving’ Ms Graham had been well on the night out until she stepped through the door of her home in Lee, south-east London, at 6.30am, then abruptly fell down and became unconscious.
Her startled companion, Fenton Johnson, called an ambulance and tried to revive her while 999 operators give him instructions over the phone on what to do.
Ms Graham, the third youngest of nine siblings, never properly recovered from her unconsciousness. She later passed away in hospital.
An inquest was unable to find any anomalies with her organs or materials which may possibly lead to her death.
According to Carlus, her younger brother, who was present at the inquest along with his wife Marsha, ‘This is the most frustrating thing of all. We still don’t know what happened.’
The inquest heard Ms Graham had been drinking Hennessy brandy and Red Bull hours before she died, but only had a modest amount of alcohol in her body which could not have resulted to her death.
Dr Heath did not find any kind of drugs or materials in her body.
Jamaican-born Ms Graham only ate takeaway jerk pork and Chinese before she went out that evening. The woman had no history of allergic reaction to food.
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According to Dr Heath, an allergic reaction to food would usually take place within half an hour of eating. For that reason, he did not think it is possible to be something she has eaten.
He went on to examine the hair piece Ms Graham wore to see if there may possibly be an allergic reaction to the latex glue used for to attaching it to her natural hair.
Dr Heath added: ‘The hair extensions in Atasha’s hair were of a latex type. This may or may not be related [to her death].
‘If it is the hair extension normally a reaction would occur within half an hour of applying them or if some of the latex got into the solution because of perspiration and then got into the bloodstream.’
He added that sweat, for instance if she had been dancing in a club, could possibly have triggered the glue to get into her bloodstream.
However, the pathologist said he would anticipate an allergic reaction to take place immediately after the glue was applied and Atasha had been wearing extensions, which she got done in salons, since was 20 years old.
After prolonged consultations with experts the pathologist said he was convinced the cause of death was anaphylactic shock as the level of tryptase, which occurs naturally in the body during an allergic reaction, was 178 micrograms per litre of blood – up to 25 times higher than the normal amount of between two and 14 micrograms per litre.
Nevertheless, he said he could not pin down precisely what was the cause was.
Dr Heath added: ‘The diagnosis is correct, but I am not sure what triggered it.
‘If she had recovered we could have carried out tests, but the situation we have, tragically, we cannot take it any further.’
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Coroner Christopher Williams recorded a verdict of death by natural causes as he said it was not possible to establish a clear link with a particular allergen that triggered her body to go into shock.
He said: ‘She had an allergic reaction to something as the level of tryptase in her body was 178 micrograms, but we are not able to identify what the specific agent was that that caused this reaction.’
Speaking afterwards, Mr Johnson, Ms Graham’s partner of two years with whom she had been trying to have a baby, described her as a ‘wonderful person’ who helped him turn his life around.
Mr Johnson said: ‘She changed me a lot. It’s so shocking this could have happened. I still have to keep looking at pictures of her on my phone.’
Ms Graham’s brother, Carlus, added: ‘She was such a nice person. She loved kids. She was fun-loving.
‘She just enjoyed her life, enjoyed doing what made her happy.
‘I was younger than her by two years, but we were like twins. She even taught me how to read and write.
‘The last time I spoke to her was the Friday before this happened. I remember her every day.’
Article culled fron the Daily Mail UK website.