A postmortem conducted on the body of baby Melitsa Melaney Cabanas, 1 year and 7 months old, of Palmar, Orange Walk District, certified that her death was caused by “asphyxia by braudicel aspiration of pill medication.” The autopsy was carried out yesterday at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.
The devastated parents of the baby said that at about 3:00 p.m. on Monday, the baby put in her mouth half of a Neo-Melubrina pill, commonly referred to as “Mexican aspirin”, an over-the-counter pain and fever medication that was on the table — and swallowed it.
Shortly after, her father, Edmundo Pastor Cabanas, saw Melitsa trembling as if though she was short of breath. He quickly rushed her to the Northern Regional Hospital in Orange Walk Town, where she was declared dead on arrival.
The grieving parents told police that on Sunday they, along with the baby, visited a house on Palmar Road in Orange Walk, and they had given the baby half of the pill. The other half was left on the table, and that was what caused the tragedy.
Police said that no signs of violence were noted on the baby, and foul play is not suspected.
Neo-Melubrina is sold south of the border in pill and liquid form for adults and children for quick relief of pain, headache, or fever.
While common in Mexico, Neo-Melubrina has been banned in the United States since 1977. It has been found to cause agranulocytosis, or a marked suppression of white blood cells. If agranulocytosis is left untreated, the risk of dying can be high. Death results from sepsis (overwhelming bacterial infection in the blood).
Although Neo-Melubrina is banned in the U.S., it continues to be sold and prescribed in Europe and Latin America.