Ryan Saunders.
Ryan Saunders.

Inquest into toddler's death starts

A CORONIAL inquest into the tragic death of Emerald toddler Ryan Saunders will begin on Monday in a Rockhampton court.

Under scrutiny will be the adequacy and appropriateness of the medical care given to the son of Donna and Terry Saunders when he was admitted to hospital in 2007.

His general practitioner and staff at the Emerald and Rockhampton Base hospitals will also be investigated in the inquest, scheduled from Monday to Friday.

Ryan suffered from an undiagnosed illness for five days before he died on September 26, 2007.

It was initially suspected he had suffered a twisted bowel.

Donna and Terry sat with Ryan for 24 hours at the Emerald Hospital, and another day in the Rockhampton Base Hospital, waiting for him to receive a scan.

But he was unable to get the test due to a lack of staff numbers at both hospitals.

Tragically, it was discovered Ryan was not suffering from a twisted bowel, but instead from an infection.

He died of toxic shock syndrome about the same time he was to be transferred to the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital.

The Health Quality and Complaints Commission conducted a two-year investigation into the events surrounding Ryan's death and provided 21 recommendations in its findings.

Media reports state not all of the recommendations have been followed, but specifics are not available.


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