Schoolboy suffered fatal MDMA overdose as he celebrated 15th birthday with pals

A drug overdose killed a "really good boy" as he celebrated his 15th birthday with pals.

Sam Curry collapsed before being lifted to hospital by air ambulance, with medics making several attempts to save his life.

Essex Coroner's Court in Chelmsford was told emergency services responded to a call from a property in South Benfleet, Essex, saying Sam was feeling "unwell".

On Tuesday an inquest into his death heard the youngster suffered a cardiac arrest after consuming a "very high" concentration of MDMA.

Protocols within the emergency services will now be changed following the teenager's death on July 18, 2020, EssexLive reports.

Sam's mum, Gemma Bedford said during the inquest that Sam "was a very funny boy" and added: "Everyone wanted him around and he had a great sense of humour – he was a really good boy."

Coroner Michelle Brown heard the teen was celebrating his birthday with friends when it appeared that recreational drugs were used at the get-together.

However, the court heard his family had raised their concerns about whether the teenager took drugs willingly or whether he was "spiked".

A post mortem examination gave the cause of his death as a "drugs overdose".

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A toxicological report found that a "very high" concentration of MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy, was in Sam's system, along with some evidence of cannabis.

At the scene where the boy was found by paramedics, they discovered a glass and a wrap of white powder on a bedside cabinet.

Within Sam's clothing, hospital staff also found two wraps – one empty and one with a substance in it which was found to contain MDMA.

During the hearing, his family also raised concerns over delays in police attendance and scene management.

The court heard that police were not alerted to the incident until around 9pm – around 12 hours after it was reported.

At the time, protocols within the emergency services "did not cover a situation such as Sam's", the court heard, which meant that police were not called at the scene by ambulance dispatchers.

Philip Sweeney, Clinical Manager for Ambulance Control Centres, who attended the inquest to give evidence, said crews decided that Sam was "workable and treatable" and "put their all" into helping him.

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Mr Sweeney said that due to Sam's age and quick decline in condition, they were "ensuring the job was appropriately resourced and the hospital was early informed of Sam's arrival".

The court was told that as soon as Sam went into cardiac arrest, the information came from a paramedic at the scene and was sent to the dispatch team.

From there, the dispatch team have the responsibility to contact the police but this procedure is not "written in black and white".

Mr Sweeney apologised on behalf of the organisation and confirmed that processes have been changed as a result of the incident.

The protocol has now been amended to include that while a patient is in their care before hospital admission, if a child under the age of 18 deteriorate goes into cardiac arrest, then there is the responsibility to inform the police.

As of today, this has come into place across the East of England – a year since Sam's death.

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