United Kingdom

Toddler survived drinking cleaning liquid then died from botched hospital procedure 

A toddler who survived drinking dishwashing liquid later died tragically after a procedure to aid her recovery at Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital went horribly wrong.     

Callie Griffiths-I'Anson, 2, was attending the hospital in January 2018 to check on how her oesophagus was healing after she earlier drank commercial strength cleaning liquid at the Oaklands Hotel in southern NSW, where her mother worked.

She was then flown to Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital and put into a medically induced coma in early January. Callie was later transferred out of intensive care and released from hospital.  

The hospital check-up included fitting a new nasogastric tube but during the procedure, the tube perforated the toddler’s oesophagus. 

Callie Griffiths-I'Anson tragically died a day after being discharged from hospital

Callie's parents Natalia and Thomas told The Herald-Sun that after the procedure, their daughter had vomited and lacked energy.

Despite this, the family were discharged and drove home the four-and-a-half hours to Oaklands, northwest of Albury in NSW.

The next morning at 6am, as her shattered mother recalled, they were awoken by the toddler making a gurgling noise.

'She made a funny noise so Thomas reached over and he sat her up and I quickly got up and turned the light on,' said Ms Griffiths-I'Anson. 'It all happened very quickly.'

'Thomas said: "Are you ­all right Callie? Are you OK?"

'She just shook her head and closed her eyes. And she just went limp. She took her last breath in her father's arms.'

The toddler was having a nasogastric tube fitted at the hospital, after which she felt unwell

Despite her grandmother - who was staying at the house - performing CPR in a vain attempt to revive the little girl, Callie was later pronounced dead at Corowa Hospital. 

A coronial inquiry into Callie's death will begin later in 2021 in an effort to ascertain what went wrong during the hospital visit as well as the circumstances of her discharge to prevent such a tragedy occuring again. 

'Callie’s death was a preventable tragedy,' said Ms Griffiths-I’Anson. 'If we can stop one person from going through this it will be worthwhile.'

Daily Mail Australia approached the Royal Children's Hospital for comment on the case. They responded: 'The RCH extends its deepest sympathies to the Griffiths-I'Anson family.' 

'As a coronial inquest is expected later this year it would not be appropriate for the RCH to comment any further in relation to this case.' 

A coronial inquest later this year will investigate the hospital procedure and Callie's discharge 

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