British girl starves to death after dentists pull all her teeth
Tue Feb 10, 11:44 AM
By Jill Lawless, The Associated Press
LONDON - Eight-year-old Sophie Waller cracked a baby tooth eating candy, and set off the chain of events that led to her death.
Sophie refused to open her mouth for a dentist so doctors at her local hospital took out the tooth in an operation, one of the doctors told a coroner's inquest. They removed all seven of her other baby teeth at the same time to avoid the need for future operations, the doctor said.
After the surgery Sophie refused to eat or even open her mouth for her parents, the couple told the inquest. But she was sent home anyway, and starved to death three weeks after the operation.
The parents said the hospital mishandled Sophie's follow-up care, referring them to a child psychologist who told them not to worry about Sophie's plummeting weight. Sophie's mother, Janet Waller, said she also was told to consult her family doctor, who prescribed nutrition drinks over the phone but did not see the girl in person.
Pediatric pathologist Dr. Marie-Ann Brundler said Sophie died at home Dec. 2, 2005 from kidney failure caused by starvation and dehydration. The inquest was told Sophie weighed 72 pounds when she went into hospital and lost a third of that weight before she died.
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