Staff ‘didn’t believe’ baby swallowed battery
A BABY girl died in hospital after she swallowed a button battery and staff didn't notice until it was too late to save her.
Isabella Rees died in 2015 aged just 14 months, and her final days alive and her death are being examined at a coronial hearing at the Coroners Court of Victoria.
Her mum Allison Rees told the hearing she and her husband had taken their little girl to hospital multiple times in the days leading up to her death. On one visit medical staff were even asked if there was a chance she had swallowed something - a suspicion that arose after Bella had been seen holding a AA battery earlier on the day she first got sick.
A doctor at Sunshine hospital told her that was not possible and that whatever was inside her was just "passing through".
The court heard Bella had a variety of symptoms including blackened faeces, a fever, and was vomiting blood.
Mrs Rees said she took dirty nappies, blood clots found in the cot, and images as proof, into the hospital to show them there was something wrong.
"I knew they weren't going to believe us," she said.
They were made to feel like they were overreacting.
"Because every time we went we had evidence … we were just disregarded and turned away.
"It felt like we were hypochondriacs," The Herald Sun reported.
Bella was denied an x-ray or an ultrasound.
Coroner Caitlin English is trying to determine whether the hospital provided appropriate care to Bella and to find out when the baby likely swallowed the button battery.
The court was told there were inconsistencies in a number of areas around Bella's care, including between hospital staff and records, and those of Bella's family members.
Mrs Rees said the family was unsure how the baby came into contact with the object, or where the button battery came from, because devices in their home were not missing any batteries.
The inquest is expected to hear 17 witnesses including family, medical experts and Sunshine Hospital staff.