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'Tragic accident’: Baby chokes on screw

A coroner has described the death of an 11-month-old boy who swallowed a metal screw as a ‘tragic accident’.
A coroner has described the death of an 11-month-old boy who swallowed a metal screw as a ‘tragic accident’.

A Tasmanian coroner has described the death of an 11-month-old boy who swallowed a metal screw as a “tragic accident” and deemed his parents to be without fault.

In May 2022, emergency services were called to a Hobart home after reports a boy was choking on something.

The baby was rushed to the Royal Hobart Hospital but died three days later from hypoxic brain damage due to a lack of oxygen.

It’s believed the screw either came from a child’s gate or wind-up blinds in the family’s living room, but its exact origin could not determined

A corner’s report released on Monday revealed the child’s father’s desperate attempts to save his son, referred to as OV in the report, after he heard him choking.

“He immediately ran over to OV and tried to take whatever was in his mouth out,” coroner Robert Webster wrote in his findings.

“He could not locate anything so he picked OV up and rolled him over and patted him on the back to try and dislodge whatever was in his mouth.”

Paramedics arrived at the home within seven minutes of the initial triple-0 call and intubated the boy.

The child’s mother and father then put their fingers down the child’s throat in a desperate attempt to dislodge the screw, but the item could not be removed.

The coroner emphasised that the boy’s parents were not at fault for their son’s death.

“There is absolutely no evidence that (the boy’s) parents were in any way responsible for his passing,” Mr Webster said.

“This was a very unfortunate and tragic accident.

“I convey my sincere condolences to the family and loved ones of (the boy).”