A BABY born prematurely died due to natural causes, a coroner has ruled.

In an inquest held at County Hall in Dorchester, evidence was heard that Eric Hillyer, who was born on May 17 and died at Dorset County Hospital on May 19, was given a dose of the blood thinning drug Heparin that was ‘higher than was recommended or intended’.

But a post-mortem carried out by a specialist at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London revealed this did not contribute to his death.

Dr Marian Malone said: “He was receiving an extremely low dose of Heparin and the dose he was receiving would not have caused bleeding and would not have contributed to his death.”

She gave the cause of death as intraventricular and subarachnoid haemorrhage. Eric’s parents live in West Pennard, near Glastonbury, Somerset.

Coroner for West Dorset Michael Johnston said: “The sad circumstances are that Eric was born very prematurely and as part of the treatment with very premature babies, he was given Heparin but this was not successful in saving his life.

“The dose given was higher than was recommended or intended.

“I am certain that Eric’s death was not produced or created by the amount he was given in excess and I will record a verdict of natural causes.”