Wednesday 17 October 2018

Mum tells of trauma as baby girl bled to death after eating tiny bits of plastic

The Dublin Coroner's Court
The Dublin Coroner's Court

Louise Roseingrave

A desperate mother shouted to her baby girl "Stephanie, don't leave us" as she found the child in her cot with blood coming from her nose and mouth.

An inquest at Dublin Coroner's Court heard yesterday that 19-month-old Stephanie Fazylova tragically died after swallowing tiny pieces of plastic that lodged in the lining of her oesophagus.

Stephanie was sleeping in her cot at her parents' bedside at their home in Grace Park Heights, Drumcondra, Dublin, when her mother Jelena Fazylova heard her cough at 6am on June 26, 2016.

"It sounded like she was going to vomit. I sat up and looked at her and then saw blood starting to come from her nose and mouth," Ms Fazylova told the inquest. "I started shouting. I said, 'Stephanie, don't leave us'."

Her husband, Alexander Fazylov, jumped out of bed and called an ambulance.

He had minded Stephanie and her older brother Ben the previous day. The children had eaten lunch, played on their trampoline and travelled with their father to collect their mother from work. They ate dinner together and at 9pm Stephanie was put to bed and she slept the "whole night through", Mr Fazylov said.

The baby was rushed to Temple Street Children's Hospital. Despite doctors' best efforts, Stephanie was pronounced dead later that day.

A post mortem gave the cause of death as haemorrhage and shock due to an oesophageal ulcerative lesion, due to foreign body of indeterminate nature.

"On the inside part of the oesophagus I found an ulcer trying to heal itself," said pathologist Dr Deirdre Devaney.

The ulcer had become inflamed and caused the lining of the oesophagus 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, tiny splinters of foreign material were found that appeared to have penetrated the wall of the child's oesophagus. Dr Devaney described the material as small clear pieces of plastic or perspex that dissolved during the chemical process used to identify it.

"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 the baby had been off her food for a few days three weeks earlier. She was taken to Temple Street but recovered her appetite and was well up to the day of her death.

A verdict of death by misadventure was returned.

Irish Independent

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