A ‘much-loved’ newborn baby tragically passed away while his parents were asleep next to him. Mason Sage, an 11-week-old infant, was discovered ‘unresponsive’ by his father, Dom Sage, in September 2021. The baby was lying between his parents in bed, with dried blood beneath his eye and nose.
Mr. Sage stated: “I then opened his mouth and attempted to breathe into his mouth and nose, but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get any air into him. “It was like blowing into a solid wall. The ambulance control room confirmed that I was doing the right thing and provided guidance over the phone.”
The 29-year-old woke up his partner and Mason’s mother, Emily Owen, who promptly contacted paramedics at their residence in Bridgend at 6:35 am. One medical professional informed the Pontypridd Coroners’ Court that it was challenging to open Mason’s airway due to what appeared to be early rigor mortis in the baby’s jaw. Mason was taken to the Princess of Wales Hospital, where he was declared deceased at 7:10 am.
The court was informed that the couple had always been cautious when sleeping with Mason, ensuring that he was positioned on his back with no pillows near him and keeping blankets away from his face.
Ms. Owens stated: “Mason mostly slept in our bed. Sometimes he would go in the cot, which was right next to me. He woke up once around 1 am, and I fed him a bottle. “I placed him in our bed, moved the cushions to the bottom, and positioned him in the middle between us, and he settled down. “In the morning, Dom mentioned that Mason wasn’t breathing. I was in shock and screaming, while Dom began performing CPR on him, with instructions from the ambulance service.”
Mason had also been experiencing difficulties related to irritable bowel syndrome, and on the previous day, he had been “screaming in pain” and sleeping for extended periods of time. Ms. Owens had become so concerned that she had set an alarm for the next morning to call the doctor.
During the inquest, Pathologist Dr. Stephen Leadbeatter stated that he found no external signs of illness or injury on Mason’s body. Further internal examinations revealed that Mason had an intra-alveolar hemorrhage, indicating the presence of blood in his lungs.
“This raises concerns regarding possible airway obstruction,” Dr. Leadbeatter commented, noting that this condition has also been observed in young children without airway obstruction. He concluded that the cause of death was an “unexplained sudden death in infancy.”