Toddler choked on popcorn, misdiagnosed for weeks

3-Year-Old Girl Barely Survived After Choking On Popcorn And Doctors Misdiagnosed Her For 5 Weeks

Family & Kids

July 12, 2019 01:46 By Mambee

Doctors are also human and, therefore, they can make mistakes. This mom learned it all too well after they had misdiagnosed her daughter for weeks.

Brisbane native, 34-year-old Cheree Lawrence shared the story of how her daughter chocked on popcorn on her blog, Oh So Busy Mum. 3-year-old Sophie was eating popcorn when she suddenly started coughing, then wheezing.

Her mom took her to the emergency room, but the doctors reassured her the snack wasn’t to blame. They gave her steroids, adrenaline and started her on Ventolin bursts. She was diagnosed with a “sudden onset of asthma” and, as her body responded to treatment successfully, the girl was discharged. However, in a few days, the symptoms reappeared.

Cheree took her daughter to the hospital again, telling them once more about the popcorn incident. Two other senior doctors claimed it was unlikely she aspirated on it, so they gave her another Ventolin burst and let them go.

She insisted on checking the girl on X-ray to see if that piece of popcorn was actually there, but the medics reassured her it was impossible.

Weeks went by but Sophie didn’t get better.

Coming back to see different specialists didn’t bring any relief. Finally, the X-ray was made and it showed pneumonia and inflammation on one lung.

Finally, 5 weeks after the initial incident, the mother brought Sophie to a private respiratory specialist. The very same day, urgent surgery was carried out to remove popcorn from the girl’s lung.

It was too late! The damage was done. The popcorn had caused some damage to her lung because it sat there for 5 long weeks and slowly started breaking down.

Cheree regrets she didn’t trust her gut and didn’t insist on the X-ray from the very beginning. She spreads an important warning for all parents not to feed their toddlers popcorn as it may be dangerous, and to:

“Remember to always trust your gut instinct and to advocate if needed for your child.”

In addition to hard pieces of food, choking risks include any small items you may have in the house. Thus, in order to prevent similar incidents:

  • make sure not to leave small children unattended while eating;
  • do not give babies and toddlers whole nuts, large seeds, popcorn, or any big pieces of solid food;
  • mash, grate or cook hard food;
  • keep small objects out of reach.

3-Year-Old Girl Barely Survived After Choking On Popcorn And Doctors Misdiagnosed Her For 5 Weeksgpointstudio / Shutterstock.com

Parents are advised to use these precautions in order to keep the child’s health and life from potential danger. Stay well!

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