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Coroner: Fighter’s death was ‘tragic accident,’ but questions medical staffing

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There were only two paramedics on site for the 2019 fight card where 26-year-old Saeideh Aletaha fought

Joanna Beames / YouTube
Joanna Beames / YouTube
Joanna Beames / YouTube

Saeideh Aletaha was 26 when she stepped into an amateur kickboxing fight in Southampton, England on November 19, 2019. Aletaha, who worked as a product design engineer and lived in Salisbury, lost that fight via third round knockout. She collapsed after the bout. A friend found her in the venue’s batthroom. She was taken to Southampton General Hospital. She died the next day. Nearly two years after Aletaha’s death, coroner Christopher Wilkinson spoke about the aftermath of the fight.

According to reporting from The Guardian, there were two paramedics on site for the event. One of the paramedics said Aletaha, “was not showing any neurological abnormalities” after her fight.

Wilkinson did not blame the paramedics for the death of the fighter, but he expressed concern over the fact that there were only two paramedics on site for the Fast & Furious Fight Series event.

“It is regrettable in my view that she was not watched under observation for longer,” said Wilkinson. “I have questioned whether two paramedics is enough and I still question it. It is a matter to be questioned going forward. It is conceivable that two or more injuries are sustained throughout the course of an evening. It’s something that warrants consideration.”

Kaja Kulczcka, who found Aletaha in the bathroom, described the events that preceded the death of her friend.

“I heard her growling in pain. There was something wrong so I banged on the door and she let me in,” said Kulczcka. “She lost consciousness, she laid herself down slowly on the floor but was fighting to control it. She was still trying to be brave. I just saw her eyes going back and I shouted out for help.”

The coroner’s ruling was Aletaha death was a “tragic accident.”

“She and her opponent entered into this event willingly, understanding the injury risks of contact sport. They knew they would be subjected to physical battery and that was something they willingly wanted to engage in,” said the coroner.

“It’s inherent that knockout blows are a part of this sport and there’s risks associated with it. She was tired, dropping her guard, and failed to anticipate a punch landing in a way that caused significant injury.”