An inquest has opened into the death of a student linked to nitrous oxide - a legal drug at the time.

Ellen Mercer, 24, died at Wexham Park Hospital on February 9, 2023, a day after becoming ill.

Her cause of death was identified as "cardiorespiratory collapse."

Subsequent tests found traces of nitrous oxide, a party drug inhaled via balloons, in Ms Mercer's system.

Nitrous oxide - known as 'laughing gas' - was designated a Class C drug last year, but was not illegal at the time of Ms Mercer's death.

The ban only came into effect in November 2023.

On Tuesday, February 27, an inquest into the business student's death opened at Reading Coroner's Court.

Assistant coroner Hannah Godfrey said Ms Mercer had "a history of nitrous oxide abuse."

A full two-day inquest is set to begin on April 10.