Toddler Who Ingested Camphor Turned Away by Hospital Due to COVID

On Tuesday evening, Natalia Wellman and her partner noticed that their three-year-old daughter had put a sock with a camphor block into her mouth biting a hole causing the substance to break as she swallowed some of the camphor.

I identified that camphor can be very poisonous if ingested, the first thing Ms. Wellman did was call her daughter’s doctor, who then suggested she call the Poison Control Center either in New York or Canada.

“ The Center in New York suggested that I take my daughter to the emergency room,” she said. “ I advised them that my family and I tested positive for the Coronavirus on Monday. My partner took her to the hospital, but could not go in and had to call the number that was on the door.”
According to Ms. Wellman, doctors would not treat her daughter in the hospital and instead told her and her partner to give their daughter milk to help coat her stomach and that they would only treat her if she started throwing up.

“ [Being turned away] frustrated me because, even though I know that there is a virus, there have recently been more recoveries than deaths or hospitalizations from it,” she said. “ It is the job of those in the hospital to treat patients who are ill, COVID positive or not, but [I believe that] because we have the Coronavirus, they would not even let my daughter through the door. It is ridiculous and has been ridiculous since this whole thing started.”

It did not take long for her daughter to return to her normal, boisterous and carefree self. Shortly after leaving KEMH and being given water and milk, she was running around.

TNN’s reporter Stefano Ausenda sought comment form BHB and a spokesperson had this to say:

“ Emergency does not turn anyone in need of emergency treatment away, whether they are COVID-19 positive or not. People who call into the emergency department may be advised to come in or stay home with a recommended action depending on the healthcare issue that needs to be addressed. If they need Emergency care, however, they will be seen whether they have COVID-19 or not.”

“ If they are positive, they will be advised when they call on how to access services safely, without putting others who may be highly vulnerable to a COVID infection in the waiting area at risk.”

“ With regards to the child’s ingestion of camphor rub, we are unable to comment as we are unable to disclose personal healthcare information, but the child’s parents can contact the Patient Relations Manager if they wish to make a complaint.”

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