Woman died after inhaling deodorant, inquest told

Report found evidence of Xanax, Valium, methadone, mirtazapine and pregabalin in woman’s system

Gardaí found up to 10 cans of aerosol deodorant in room where woman had been living in sheltered accommodation. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

Gardaí found up to 10 cans of aerosol deodorant in room where woman had been living in sheltered accommodation. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

 

A 35-year-old woman living in sheltered accommodation died after inhaling gas from cans of deodorant, an inquest heard. Gardaí found up to 10 cans of aerosol deodorant in Lisa Kennedy’s room at the Depaul Hostel on Little Britain Street, Dublin 7.

The woman was found unresponsive by her partner of two years Shane Moran on the morning of July 7th, 2018.

“I woke up beside her in our couple’s room at the hostel and I tried to wake her but there were no signs of life,” Mr Moran said in a deposition.

He said in his statement the woman had been out with a friend the day before. She came home at 7pm and they watched TV together before falling asleep around midnight.

Depaul Hostel staff member Victor Odiumuko told Dublin Coroner’s Court that he knocked on the couple’s door around 10am as part of a routine room check.

“When I knocked Mr Moran answered. He was sitting on the bed next to Lisa. He said he had been trying to wake her. I called her name and got no response. I became concerned and called my teammate and the decision was made to contact emergency services,” he said.

Garda Sean Harrington responded to a call at 10.40am and found the deceased surrounded by empty deodorant cans.

Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane asked if Ms Kennedy had been using aerosols.

“It looked that way. She had a cloth in her left hand. There were up to 10 cans in close proximity to where she was and there was a strong smell of deodorant in the room. The window was locked from the inside,” Garda Harrington said.

The woman’s body was removed to the morgue for autopsy.

At post-mortem there was no evidence of injury. A toxicology report found evidence of Xanax, Valium, methadone, mirtazapine and pregabalin in the woman’s system.

The cause of death was mixed drug toxicity.

“It is the combined effects of a number of medications that were in the system but I think given the evidence, one couldn’t discount the aerosol inhalation in or around the time of death. In any event it is likely to be a combination of all of the substances,” the coroner said, returning a verdict of misadventure.