Boy dies from sniffing aerosol can

A 13-YEAR-OLD boy who died from sniffing aerosol vapours was to celebrate his 14th birthday the next day.

Gladstone police said about 11pm Thursday night police were called to the Kin Kora shopping centre in relation to another matter when they were alerted to the 13-year-old boy in the Kmart car park.

“When the police arrived the young boy was unconscious,” Sergeant Royce Devlin told The Observer.

“As a result police commenced CPR until the Queensland Ambulance Service arrived.

“At one stage the boy regained consciousness briefly.”

The boy's extremely distressed father arrived at the scene while QAS was trying to revive the 13-year-old.

“It is believed the boy was inhaling aerosol prior to his death,” Sgt Devlin said.

According to the National Inhalant Advisory Service although different in make up, nearly all abused inhalants produce effects similar to anaesthetics, which act to slow down the body's functions.

“When inhaled via the nose or mouth into the lungs in sufficient concentrations, inhalants can cause intoxicating effects,” a NIAS spokesperson said.

“Intoxication can last only a few minutes or several hours if inhalants are taken repeatedly. Initially, users may feel slightly stimulated.

“With successive inhalations, they may feel less inhibited and less in control. Finally, a user can lose consciousness.”

The spokesperson said sniffing highly concentrated amounts of chemicals in solvents or aerosol sprays can directly induce heart failure and death.

“This is especially common from the abuse of fluorocarbons and butane-type gases,” the spokesperson said.

“High concentrations of inhalants also cause death from suffocation by displacing oxygen in the lungs and then in the central nervous system so that breathing ceases.”

Currently in Australia there is little information about inhalants users. It was suggested data was incomplete because many inhalants users may fall outside the demographic covered by the surveys.

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