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02nd Oct 2017

Dublin woman died from blood clot weeks after starting contraceptive pill

Lauren Johnson was found semi-conscious at her home on 3 September 2015 and passed away four days later from a blood clot.

The 23-year-old had been suffering from ongoing headaches and visited her GP on 1 September complaining of these as well as visual disturbances, Dublin’s Coroner’s Court heard.

At the time Lauren’s parents were in Portugal. Her close friend Kevin Gannon said;

“She complained a lot about this headache that wouldn’t go away.

On 3 September, Kevin became worried after receiving no reply to his texts and calls.

Louise Roseingrave writing for The Irish Times states that Kevin went to Lauren’s home and called an ambulance as “she was groggy and couldn’t string a sentence together”.

There was a packet of paracetamol in the house with 16 tablets missing and it’s believed that Lauren had been taking them regularly because her headaches were so frequent.

Lauren was admitted to Beaumont Hospital on 3 September as doctors feared she had overdosed on paracetamol. She fell into patient ‘category 2’ meaning she had to be seen by a doctor within 15 minutes.

The doctor who tended to Lauren, Dr Farah Mustafa, arranged a blood test and pointed out that her patient was drowsy but vital signs were normal. She also ordered a psychiatrist review.

A CT scan showed that the 23-year-old had a blood clot in her brain which led to ‘associated haemorrhaging’. Lauren passed away on 7 September 2015.

Records from Lauren’s GP in Swords, Dublin showed that she began taking the contraceptive pill in July 2015. Previous research has suggested that the contraceptive pill can lead to an increased risk of blood clots although Lauren’s condition was described as ‘very rare’ by consultant neurologist Dr Lisa Costello.

The inquest is set to resume at a later date.