Saturday 23 February 2019

Mum's plea after daughter dies taking medicine for mild acne

Lauren Johnson died after developing a blood clot
Lauren Johnson died after developing a blood clot

The mother of a 23-year-old woman who died after developing a blood clot claims that not enough women are aware of the dangers of taking the contraceptive pill.

Lauren Johnson, from Swords, died from a clot caused by the medication prescribed to her for mild acne.

On September 3, 2015, Lauren was found semi-conscious in bed at home. She died four days later due to a venous sinus thrombosis (blood clot) and associated haemorrhage in the brain at Beaumont Hospital four days later.

Lauren's mother, Sandra, said that losing her only child was "devastating".


"My husband, Brian, and I were away on holidays when Lauren developed a blood clot," she said.

"She was taken to Beaumont Emergency Department by ambulance and we were told that she was admitted due to a suspected overdose. Receiving the news was devastating. Lauren was our only child."

After a CT scan of her brain, Lauren was transferred to intensive care, where she was described as "very gravely ill".

"Despite the doctors' best efforts, Lauren was pronounced dead on September 7. Her passing has left a huge void in our lives. Lauren was the light of our lives," said her mother.

At an inquest into Lauren's death, Dublin District Coroner's Court found the prescribed medication was the cause of death. The verdict was medical misadventure and recommendations were to be made to Beaumont Hospital.

Sandra warned that many women do not understand the risks associated with the contraceptive pill.

"The medication that Lauren was prescribed underwent a review by the European Medicines Agency in 2013 and was deemed to be safe when prescribed within a restricted indication, and strict guidelines were put in place," she said.

"Lauren did not fall into the restricted category. The medication carries eight times the risk of thromboembolism, where a clot forms in a blood vessel."

Lauren, who graduated from DCU with a BA in Language and Translation Studies, had spent time studying in Japan.

"Lauren was a beautiful, intelligent, determined, independent young woman with a lust for life and learning. Her love of Pokemon brought her interest in all things Japanese," said Sandra.

"Lauren was working in Dublin as a translator at the time of her untimely death, but with her love of travel she had big plans for new adventures and to learn more languages."


She added that she is happy the inquest has concluded as it was "very painful".

"The inquest was like losing her over again two years later," she said. "We'd like to thank family and friends who supported us since Lauren's passing.

"We would also like to commend the neurology, neurosurgical and Richmond ICU team of Beaumont Hospital for the care they provided to Lauren."

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