Teen dies from heart attack after being constipated for 8 weeks

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Teenager Emily Titterington had a fear of toilets.

The 16-year-old, who was mildly autistic, would frequently not pass motion for up to eight weeks.

In 2013, she collapsed at her home in Cornwall, England and was later pronounced dead in hospital.

The cause of her death? Heart attack caused by chronic constipation.

At an inquest, it was heard that her bowel had grown so large that it compressed her chest cavity and caused the displacement of other organs, local media reported on Tuesday (June 30).

Paramedic Lee Taylor, who attended to the girl on the day of her death, said Emily's "abdomen was grossly extended".

"Her lower ribs had been pushed out further than her pubic bone - I was shocked."

Emily had been having bowel problems for most of her life, but doctors were unable to determine the cause.

Prior to her death, the teenager had refused to be examined by a doctor. Her mother had tried and failed to convince her to do so.

Her doctor, Dr Alistair James​, said he prescribed laxatives​ but did not examine the girl.

"Her death could have been avoided with the right treatment at the right point," said Dr James.

Sources: The Telegraph, BBC News, The Mirror, Cornish Guardian

This article was first published on July 1, 2015.
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