British mother died from a blood clot two months after being prescribed contraceptive pill

Mum-of-two Susan Walton, 46, was fit and healthy aside from suffering from long-standing menorrhagia - abnormally heavy bleeding during periods.
Mum-of-two Susan Walton, 46, was fit and healthy aside from suffering from long-standing menorrhagia - abnormally heavy bleeding during periods.
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A mother died from a blood clot two months after being prescribed the contraceptive pill, an inquest heard.

Mum-of-two Susan Walton, 46, was fit and healthy aside from suffering from long-standing menorrhagia - abnormally heavy bleeding during periods.

The hearing was told that she visited her locum GP in May last year when she was prescribed the oral contraceptive pill, Yasmin, for the condition.

But in July Mrs Walton, who worked as a cleaner, unexpectedly collapsed at her home in Sandwich, Kent.

She died on July 26, 2018, at the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital in Margate.

Cause of death was given as a cardiorespiratory failure caused by pulmonary thromboembolism - the obstruction of a blood vessel by a blood clot in an artery in the lung, a recognised risk of Yasmin - following a 23-day inquest in Maidstone.

The Medical Defence Union (MDU), representing Mrs Walton's GP, said it was reasonable to prescribe Yasmin because the benefits of the pill outweighed the risk of her developing a blood clot.

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But an independent GP expert, Dr Alastair Bint, criticised the GP's decision as he failed to check Mrs Walton's height or weight, nor did he document that he had explained any of the risks of the drug, particularly for women over 35.

Dr Bint described the risk of blood clot as being the single biggest risk of the combined oral contraceptive pill and cited two sources of guidance available to GPs.

Witnesses at the inquest agreed the pulmonary embolism which resulted in her death was most probably triggered by the pill.

Assistant Coroner Bina Patel said that Mrs Walton died from pulmonary thromboembolism, which is a recognised risk of the combined oral contraceptive pill prescribed for longstanding menorrhagia.

Mrs Walton's husband, Jeremy Walton, said: "My wife was taken away very suddenly and before her time.

"She is sorely missed by me and her two sons Nathan and Jeremy James.

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"While we cannot bring her back, we hope that the conclusion of the inquest highlights to others the risks associated with taking the combined oral contraceptive pill, and more importantly how these risks can differ in severity from person to person."

Jenny Waight, Mr Walton's lawyer, said: "The evidence of the independent expert in this case was that Yasmin was the combined oral contraceptive pill with the highest risk of blood clot and that it should not have been prescribed to Mrs Walton."

She added: "I hope the inquest's conclusion brings closure for our client and his family and goes some way in raising awareness of the associated risks of taking the combined oral contraceptive pill."