Israel Police Probing Death of 8-year-old Girl Who Inhaled Helium

Helium not usually lethal and no deaths have been attributed to it; inhaling can nevertheless reduce oxygen levels and lead to asphyxiation.

Ido Efrati
Noa Shpigel
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Illustration: Helium balloon
Illustration: Helium balloonCredit: © Korvit | - Helium balloon
Ido Efrati
Noa Shpigel

An 8-year-old girl died on Tuesday after collapsing at home in Kiryat Ata.

Paramedics found her unconscious and tried to revive her for an hour before determining her death.

The cause of death was unknown and the police is investigating. At the time of the incident the girl’s two older sisters and grandmother were at home.

One possibility is that the girl inhaled helium from a birthday balloon that was in the house, and that this somehow led to her death. Usually, inhaling helium is not a risk factor and the balloon found by paramedics was still quite full, indicating that the amount inhaled was not large.

The inquest will therefore look at possible background respiratory disease.