Ireland One year-old died after choking on 'tiny' plastic object, inquest hears

10:45  11 january  2018
10:45  11 january  2018 Source:   dublinlive.ie

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Flickr/Informatique © Flickr/Informatique Flickr/Informatique A baby girl died after ingesting a piece of plastic that fatally damaged her oesphagus, Dublin Coroner's Court heard today.

Nineteen-month-old Stephanie Fazylova of Grace Park Heights, Drumcondra, died after she swallowed tiny pieces of plastic perspex that lodged in the lining of her oesphagus.

Her father Alexander Fazylov told the court that on June 25 2016, the day before Stephanie died, he had been minding the little girl and her older brother Ben.

The children had eaten lunch, played on their trampoline and travelled with their father to collect their mother from work.

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They ate dinner together and at 9pm Stephanie was put to bed and she slept the ‘whole night through’ Mr Fazylov said.

At around 6am the following morning, June 26, Stephanie's mother Jelena heard her daughter coughing and sat up to look at her child lying in her cot next to her bed.

She told the court: "It sounded like she was going to vomit. I sat up and looked and her and then saw blood starting to come from her nose and mouth.

"I started shouting. I said, 'Stephanie don’t leave us'."

Jelena's husband jumped out of bed and called an ambulance, and the baby was rushed to Temple Street Children’s Hospital.

She continued to lose blood and a blood transfusion was carried out. Despite doctors best efforts, baby Stephanie was pronounced dead later that day.

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The cause of death was hemorrhage and shock due to an oesophageal ulcerative lesion, due to foreign body of indeterminate nature, according to a post-mortem examination.

Pathologist Dr Deirdre Devaney told the inquest into the child's death he found found an ulcer trying to heal itself on the inside of Stephanie's oesophagus.

The ulcer had become inflamed and caused the lining of the food pipe to disintegrate close to a blood vessel. When the blood vessel became inflamed it burst and caused the bleeding that claimed the child’s life.

Under a microscope, pathology staff found tiny splinters of foreign material that appeared to have penetrated the wall of the child’s food pipe.

Dr Devaney described the objects as small clear pieces of plastic or perspex that dissolved during the chemical process used to identify it.

He said: “Many children swallow foreign objects like pennies, coins or batteries. This was just extremely unfortunate that a splinter found its way in and damaged the blood vessel wall."

The court heard that the baby had been off her food for a few days three weeks earlier. She was taken to Temple Street at this point but recovered her appetite and was healthy and well up to the day of her death.

Returning a verdict of death by misadventure, Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane said the child had swallowed something very tiny.

She concluded: “It’s very rare that there would be such a devastating outcome in the context of a tiny piece of foreign material getting lodged in the oesophagus. This is a rare and tragic event, the loss of a beautiful baby in these circumstances."

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