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5-Year-Old Dies of Cardiac Arrest Caused by Myocarditis


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A family is devastated after their 5-year-old girl died while waiting for medical transport in a Canberra hospital.

“Rozalia Spadafora’s death on July 5 at Canberra Hospital has been referred to the ACT Coroner who will decide if an inquest is needed,” Daily Mail reported.

She went to Canberra Hospital for blood tests on her fifth birthday.

Rozalia died the next day waiting with her mother for medical transport to Sydney.

“We lost our daughter at Canberra Hospital. No one helped her until it was too late. No one told us what was happening before it was too late,” the family said.

“No one explained to us how she died. My family has no answers and we are broken. This was an entirely avoidable incident with consequences that will now last a lifetime.”

“At about midday on July 5, Ms Spadadora said she was told Rozalia had inflamed muscles around her heart,” Daily Mail noted.

“Ms Spadafora said she was told Rozalia died of a cardiac arrest caused by myocarditis.”

Daily Mail provided further details:

Ms Spadafora said that by the morning of her birthday the preschooler’s complexion had turned sickly pale and she was too lethargic to even open presents, so doctors recommended she get blood tests.

Ms Spadafora and Rozalia had to wait until about 3am in Canberra Hospital emergency department until nurses took a sample of the little girl’s blood.

They came back an hour later to get more saying the sample wasn’t big enough.

Two hours later Rozalia was taken to the intensive care unit, where she was put on an an intravenous drip.

At about 8am a nurse told the family Rozalia had Influenza A and she was moved to the paediatric area of the emergency department.

Ms Spadafora was also told Rozalia had an enlarged liver and would likely need to stay in hospital for several days.

At about midday on July 5, Ms Spadadora said she was told Rozalia had inflamed muscles around her heart.

Rozalia was moved to a paediatric ward but the family were informed that no cardiac paediatrician was available in the ACT and the girl would need to be flown to Sydney for treatment.

‘I asked if this was life-threatening — and I was told ‘no’,’ Ms Rozalia told the ABC.

She said Rozalia was moved back to intensive care and seen by several doctors over the next few hours as Rozalia’s father was also allowed to visit.

Hospital staff told the family a helicopter was on its way from Sydney.

However, at around 7pm Ms Spadafora said they were told the helicopter couldn’t land at the hospital because of an issue with the tarmac and had been diverted to Canberra Airport.

The team of people who were assembled to transport Rozalia to the airport struggled to apply monitoring equipment to the increasingly distressed girl.

There were discussions about sedating Rozalia.

‘I started crying,’ Ms Spadafora said.

‘We didn’t know what to do.’

Rozalia then started to spasm.

She was rushed from the room and given CPR.

The family waited anxiously for an hour before a doctor told them Rozalia had died.

“Ms Spadafora said that when they arrived at the hospital, the department did not appear to be busy, but it was more than two hours before a nurse told them they were facing a further four-hour wait and that they should leave if Rozalia “was not that unwell,” ABC noted.

But Ms Spadafora said Rozalia’s condition continued to decline.

“She could not sit up, she needed to lie down,” she said.

Just before 10pm, Ms Spadafora said they were taken to the paediatric area of the department but were not offered a bed.

About 45 minutes later, she said a nurse checked Rozalia’s temperature, blood sugar and oxygen saturation levels and they were offered a consultation room.

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Ms Spadafora said, about 1am, Rozalia was given an oral rehydration solution and water – which made her throw up.

“We pressed the bell for assistance but no-one came,” she said.

Ms Spadafora said a sample of her daughter’s blood was taken about 3am, but this apparently was not enough for testing and another sample was taken an hour later.

At 6am the day after they arrived at the hospital, Rozalia was taken to the intensive care unit, where she was given an intravenous drip, her blood pressure was checked and she was taken for a chest x-ray.

Two hours later the family was told by a nurse that Rozalia had Influenza A and the young girl was moved back to the paediatric area of the emergency department.

Ms Spadafora said they were also told Rozalia had an enlarged liver and would likely be in hospital for several days.



 

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