UPDATE: Noosa Hospital staff are distressed after trying to save a four-year-old girl who swallowed a small battery.
Noosa Hospital CEO Oliver Steele it was an "extremely distressing case".
"Noosa Hospital confirms that a female paediatric patient was treated in its Emergency Department in the early hours of Sunday, June 30, before being transferred to Brisbane by helicopter for ongoing treatment," he said.
"The hospital understands the patient died before she could receive treatment for a rare complication in Brisbane."
Mr Steele said emergency staff did everything they could in caring for the patient.
"Appropriate procedure was correctly followed," he said.
"The hospital has extended its sympathies to the patient's family for their tragic loss.
Sunshine Coast girl dies after swallowing lithium battery
A TEWANTIN girl has died from stomach bleeding after swallowing a lithium button-sized battery.
The four-year-old swallowed the battery and showed symptoms of stomach bleeding Sunday morning, it was revealed last night.
A Queensland Ambulance Service spokeswoman confirmed the girl was taken to Noosa Hospital in a serious condition about 8.15am.
She was flown by medical helicopter to the Royal Brisbane Hospital in a critical condition later that afternoon, but died from her injuries.
Kidsafe Queensland estimates four children a week in Australia are taken to emergency departments with button battery-related injuries.
Button batteries are found in remote controls and other household electronic devices.
The Kidsafe website says that the batteries are a severe and little known risk to children.
The Battery Controlled Campaign was launched by Kidsafe and the ACCC last year to remind parents to keep batteries out of reach of children and spread the word about the dangers.
Susan Teerds, of Kidsafe Queensland, told ABC radio the button-shaped batteries are found in many common household items.
"When a child swallows a battery it often gets caught in the oesophagus, around the voice box,'' Ms Teerds said.
"Once it's been lodged, within an hour it will start to burn a hole."
The hazards of tiny batteries
If a child swallows a button battery, the battery can get stuck in the child's throat and burn through the oesophagus in as little as two hours. Repair can require feeding and breathing tubes and multiple surgeries.
Children under five years old are at the greatest risk.
According to the international Safe Kids website, each year in the United States, more than 2,800 kids are treated in emergency rooms after swallowing button batteries.
"That's one child every three hours. The number of serious injuries or deaths as a result of button batteries has increased ninefold in the last decade,'' the site says.
Top tips to keep kids safe
- Keep coin lithium battery-controlled devices out of sight and reach of children.
- These include remote controls, singing greeting cards, digital scales, watches, hearing aids, thermometers, children's toys, calculators, key fobs, t-light candles, flashing holiday jewelry or decorations all contain button batteries.
- Keep loose batteries locked away, or place a piece of duct tape over the controller to prevent small children from accessing the battery.
- Share this life-saving information with caregivers, friends, family members and sitters. It only takes a minute and it could save a life.
- If you suspect your child has ingested a battery, go to the hospital immediately. Don't induce vomiting or have your child eat or drink anything until assessed by a medical professional.
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