Saturday 23 February 2019

Toddler 'died after she swallowed a tiny piece of plastic'

Dublin Coroner’s Court. Photo: Dara Mac Donaill
Dublin Coroner’s Court. Photo: Dara Mac Donaill

A toddler died after swallowing a tiny piece of plastic, a coroner's court has been told.

The splinter lodged in 19-month-old Stephanie Fazylova's gullet.

She was sleeping in her cot beside her parents' bed at their home in Grace Park Heights, Drumcondra, when her mother heard her cough.

Jelena Fazylova sat up and looked at Stephanie lying in the cot at 6am on June 26, 2016.

"It sounded like she was going to vomit," Ms Fazylova told Dublin Coroner's Court.

"I sat up and looked at her and then saw blood starting to come from her nose and mouth.

"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", said Mr Fazylova.

Stephanie was rushed to Temple Street Children's Hospital the following morning.

She continued to lose blood and was given a transfusion.

Despite the best efforts of doctors, Stephanie was pronounced dead later that day. The cause of death was haemorrhage and shock due to an oesophageal ulcerative lesion caused by a foreign body of indeterminate nature, according to a post-mortem examination.

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


"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."

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 clear pieces of plastic.

The coroner, Dr Myra Cullinane, returned a verdict of death by misadventure.

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